I had just walked out into the sunlight after watching “Iron Man 2”, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was still thinking about the film, about heroes, about inspiration, when I got into my car and turned on the radio. And I heard KT Tunstall sing,
Suddenly I see,
Why the hell it means so much to me.
Since coming out of my depression, or at least breaking out of the deep and starting back to the surface, I haven’t written much. I intended to write. I wanted to write, or at least I told myself I wanted to write. But something was stopping me. I blamed it on my recent spate of injuries, which make it difficult to sit for extended periods—kids, pushups and crunches are your friends; you do not want to deal with pulled or strained core muscles—but that was just a convenient excuse. Something else was standing in the way.
When I decided to start writing again—even if I didn’t actually start writing—it was with the intention to forgo traditional publication. I would write my books for myself, and post them to Amazon, Smashwords, etc. only to mark them as “done” and quit fiddling with them so I’d be forced to move on to the next book. Anyone who has written I book will know what I mean. In theory, I didn’t intend anyone to actually read them.
And I think that intention is exactly why I’ve been—remained—stalled. Books aren’t paintings or sculpture. It’s not enough that they simply exist. Books must be read. The experience needs to be transmitted to readers. (I’m looking at you, Salinger.) Fundamentally, I knew all along that writing just to write was a pointless waste of time for me.
I write because I want to entertain on my worst days, and inspire on my best. In order to do that, I need readers. I don’t necessarily need to know who they are, or even how many of them there are, and I don’t need to make my living as an author. In some ways, I think intending to make my living as an author was one of the worst things I ever did, putting too much pressure on the writing and sucking all the joy out of it. But the books need to be read.
I don’t know what this means yet. Thankfully, I don’t need a plan right away. I still have a lot of writing—and rewriting—to do before I get to that point. But I know I’m not just writing for myself. I’m writing for you. And I want you to be impressed, entertained, and yes, inspired by the stories I create.