Why I Do What I Do

I almost titled this post, “Thank you, Isabella!” but I thought that might be a bit weird. That said, it’s because of a girl named Isabella that I’m writing this.

Let me explain.

I have no idea who this Isabella is, all I know is that she follows my blog and she took the time to send me a message via Goodreads the other day. And, goodness me, what a beautiful message it was! It was the kind of message that made me stop and think, “That is why I do what I do—so I can be an inspiration to others.”

I love to write. You all know this by now. It’s something I’m passionate about. I don’t care if I’m typing a novel or penning a grocery list; there’s just something beautiful about expressing life through words.

But why do I love to write? Why does anyone love to write?

Some people think writers are in it for the money. Ever since the whole publishing deal came about for me, I’ve had a heap of people say things like, “Oh, look out, here comes the famous author! When you’re rich, don’t forget me!” And sure, I always laugh and dream with them, but I also know that fame and fortune absolutely do not go hand-in-hand with the writing gig. I know for a fact that some of Australia’s bestselling authors still have to keep day jobs in order to pay the bills. Unless you strike metaphorical gold in the literary world, the reality is that novelists generally won’t see much money for their effort (or so I hear). Of course, there are always exceptions, especially when movie deals and foreign rights come in to play. But as a general rule, when people ask me for loans (jokingly or not), I pretty much have to stop myself from laughing in their faces and saying, “What’s mine is yours. Here’s a dollar and twenty-five cents.”

So, no, I don’t write for the money.

I also don’t write for the fame. That’s counterproductive, if you think about it. I have no idea how celebrities have time to actually hone their craft when they’re stuck in media interviews and all the rest of that publicity stuff for so much of their time. As a writer, my time is best spent—you guessed it—writing. Fame of any kind, while great for book sales and thus finances (see above paragraph), would stop me from doing what I love.

Approval is something else I don’t write for. This world is so dominated by social media and how many ‘likes’ we can get on a Facebook post or Instagram image that we are naturally becoming self-conscious in the most twisted ways. “Only twenty-five people liked the selfie I posted today; that must mean I’m ugly.” No joke, people are thinking like this. But if I wrote to please people or to gain approval, then I would lose every iota of joy that I get out of writing, and it would be a miserable experience.

Okay, so I don’t write for money, fame, or approval… But what do I write for?

It’s simple:

I write for me. And I write for you.

I write for me because I have to write. I can’t not write. There are too many stories bursting to get out of me, too many characters demanding to make themselves known to the world. If I don’t get it all out, then I become a crazy person (and trust me, no one wants that!). It’s sometimes chaotic, but it’s a beautiful chaos. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

… Which is why, when I write for me, I’m also writing for you. I’m writing to inspire you, to encourage you, to motivate you. I want you to leave your reality; I want you to dream in fantasies, to experience impossibilities. I want a few well-chosen words to lift you out of your everyday life and into a realm of unimaginable adventures. I want you to discover your own passions and find the courage to hope for an incredible tomorrow.

If you’re a writer, I want you to realise that you can be a writer. If you’re a painter, a personal trainer, a chemistry teacher, a checkout operator, a candlestick maker… whatever you are, whatever you want to be, I want you to know that you’re only limited by your own imagination. If you want to walk on the moon, then become an astronaut. If you want to cure cancer, then study biochemistry. If you want to sail the world, then get a boat (and, you know, learn to swim). Don’t let the can’ts, won’ts, and shouldn’ts rule over the cans, wills, and shoulds.

Never say never.

Reach for your dreams.

And remember that every day that you wake up is another day bursting with opportunity.

… Okay, so this was one seriously weird post. In my defence, I’ve been editing insanely for, like, three days straight, so I’m a little out of it. But I still hope you get what I’m trying to say! Carpe diem, people!

31 thoughts on “Why I Do What I Do

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