Friday, January 05, 2018

Writing: Why Do I Write?

The first of the year is traditionally a time for lists (the best books I've read, the best authors, the most memorable events of the past year, etc.). When it comes to looking back over the year that has just ended, I tend to follow the wisdom of Leroy "Satchel" Paige, pitcher of many decades ago, who said, "Don't look back--something may be gaining on you." Instead, I adopt the motto espoused by William Shakespeare, who had his character say, "What's past is prologue."

What I've been asking myself lately is, "Why do I write?" It certainly has provided something to keep me busy after retirement from the practice of medicine. But is it for the money? No, anyone who seeks to make a living at this activity and whose name isn't Child or Rowling or Patterson is in for a disappointment. And fame? Thus far, no one has asked for my autograph, and I haven't seen any days honoring me in my north Texas town.

I suppose the reason I keep plugging away is that I think I have something worthwhile to say, and some people keep reading it. And so long as I'm able, I'll probably continue.

This week saw the release on Amazon of my novella, Surgeon's Choice. I'll let you all know of the sites where you can win a copy. If you spend the money buying a copy and then win one, I'll send you an Amazon gift card instead--fair enough? The first such site is The Suspense Zone. I'm also a guest on the blog of Lena Nelson Dooley, and have a guest interview on Suspense Sisters--each provides an opportunity to win a copy of my latest novella. Stay tuned for more.

Meanwhile, for the writers among you, I'll ask you the question I've posed to myself. Why do you write? Why keep at it? What would it take for you to consider yourself a success?

Tweet with a single click: "Why do you write?"


Patricia Bradley said...

I write because if I didn't I'd die. Well, maybe not literally since I could express myself through pottery. I guess I write because I like to create worlds where I have control. Bahaha!

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, the control thing rarely gets mentioned, but it's there--thanks for admitting one factor that's in the back of all our minds when we sit down to write. "There, doggone you. Do this...and that."

greg fuller said...

Do authors write as a means to release frustrations or anger over a particular subject; or as a way, like yourself, to explain medical situation so people have a better understanding of the dangers of a disease?

Richard Mabry said...

Greg, very few people with medical backgrounds write fiction, and when they do they try to incorporate medical situations (or, sometimes, make them up) in order to stimulate the reader's interest.

Anonymous said...

I guess I write these days because my work and lifestyle have shifted where I can do so more now than in years past. I write to leave a legacy, of sorts. I try to imagine what I would say to those children I have never had; especially leaving encouragement about faith in God seems really important to me these days. I have been a single all of my life and have had the pleasure of teaching young children in various types of schools and centers yet, I have never had my own. As I age, I want to leave something behind that honors God and helps others to live in faith with Him. I would also, honestly, love to earn an income as well. :) It would be such a blessing to know that the words I have written are worth compensation. Dr. Mabry, thanks for offering such encouragement to us in your blogs. I do enjoy them.

Richard Mabry said...

I appreciate your comment. We may write for different reasons, but in the end whatever we write is a testament that we leave behind. Thanks for your kind words, and best wishes as you continue your own writing.