by Camela Thompson
I have been thinking a lot about why I write lately. It takes a lot of energy to keep writing while marketing and working a demanding day job. The magic number of five books has been bumped up to ten before a writer collects the readership necessary to have a career. At first I rolled my eyes at these numbers, but it makes sense. Getting published is easier than ever with all of the self-publishing options out there, and the market is diluted. There are authors who have a break-out book, but I don't think anyone is certain why some take off and others don't. Your initial reflex when reading this is probably, "It's simple. Better writing." Not every time. Look at the top-selling books...I've read some great books (better books) that haven't performed well. My point is that deciding to be a writer often means working to sustain two careers instead of one. If writing in itself isn't fulfilling, it can be hard to keep going.
When I first started writing, I didn't have a drive to be published. I have always been a voracious reader, but I had hit a streak of books that weren't the best. I kept imagining different ways for those books to end, and eventually I decided to try my hand at writing a better story. I can say with absolute confidence that I did not write a better story that first time. But I kept at it. According to reviewers, I'm doing better than okay.
A strange thing happened as my stories evolved into a more distinctive style. The writing got darker. Honest to goodness I tried to write the light romance my mother hoped for (she takes my affinity for paranormal darkness as a personal affront to her parenting), but someone would die and off I would go with my darker mystery. Or worse. *Gasp* I like to write horror. As I wrote about demons (literally) and antagonists with dark urges, painful instances in my past unwound in a safe and distant way. I could change the outcome to be fair. It was a second chance at an ending that felt much closer to what a craved for closure. Writing helped me heal.
While I hope that my stories entertain people and transport them (and maybe get that justice they crave), I write for me, too.
Why do you read? What motivates you when you write?
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.