For the last few years my days have been my own, a wonderful circumstance for a writer. Or for many other occupations, I suppose, but mine are filled with writing oriented activities. Here are seven reasons why this is so:
1. I can. I no longer have a day job and hours of time are there to use however I like. While teaching was a great passion of mine, it took a lot of time and, as the years added up, almost all of it. There was little room for anything else.
2. Writing makes me happy. It helps me express who I am and how I am feeling at any given point in time. My personal blog is great for that and also for just making comments on life. My family, my friends and even the odd enemy may become jewels at Beadergirl Jewels.
3. Historical fiction lets me travel. Historicals need research and part of mine has been traveling New York State and Ontario’s borders to visit forts, museums and libraries. Finding the French castle (as the main building at Fort Niagara is called) was thrilling. And sharing it with my husband on a mini trip we took even better. And for book two of my series I am visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake, an absolutely wonderful trove of buildings, forts and well-documented history.
4. My writing journey opens my mind to new things. Every day I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn learning my craft from how-to articles about writing. There is a whole network of people out there who write! Yes. They understand what I am doing and why. They commiserate and celebrate with me and they teach me amazing writing tips, tricks and no-no bits. Social networking is a must for a writer.
5. There is a definite feeling of accomplishment when I finish my pages for the day. Lists help me keep up with everything I want and need to do. I get a warm glow inside when I cross off character sketch for Lucy, write 3 pages, or research guns of American Revolution. And every day I can see my story growing is like watching a child suddenly be able to reach the counter top. Exciting.
6. My characters let me live in an alternate reality. When I am actually writing for 2-3 hours every morning, the cars on the street outside disappear and Lucy’s cabin surrounds me. I cry real tears at Mr. Smyth’s murder and feel the happy belly bump of Lucy’s first child. With lunch I slowly slip back into my own life.
7. Best of all my writing lets me tune in to my world in a more connected way. Instead of traveling on the subway and watching the floor, I watch people and revel in the myriad details of their faces or how they walk or their smiles or the way they connect with others–all to be used when writing my own characters. A shiny black widow’s peak or a deep chin dimple or the glazed look of sheer boredom or a long, long hair sticking straight out of a man’s eyebrow–the world is full of absorbing characters. Observing all of these details may, however, get me accosted for staring.
Why do you write? If you have always thought about writing why don’t you start? What points have I left out in my list?