It is almost impossible to stop writing once you begin. Beware of what habits you are embracing when you first decide to write. Writing becomes your passion, your joy, and your compulsion. You write at bus stops, in dentist offices, in cafes, as well as on beaches, in lonely woods, at your computer, and in bed. In the middle of an argument, you can detach your mind and consider how you would treat this scene in a book. Shameful, really. You wonder sometimes if you are sure of the dividing line between fiction and reality. Some writers begin as hobbyists or recreational writers, jotting down ideas after work or on the weekends when they have a free hour. They may find themselves spending more and more time at it until they think about it most of the day. Others begin as professional writers, knowing they will commit their working lives to producing manuscripts, and so plan time and the financial support they need for writing. Both types can be compulsive about writing once they experience the zest and satisfaction that writing brings to their lives.

You might write because you want to be noticed, to be recognized as a unique and valuable person. Every writer needs a certain amount of ego or they would never write. You might also write hoping the stories you create will live forever and your life and energy will live on in those stories. You might write to discover yourself, for by writing, for you often find out what is important, how you feel, and what you know when you write it. Perhaps you want to write to push your habits of thought farther and farther from your usual paths and into a different, challenging, even peculiar, world of your imagination. My character in my last book is intrigued by quantum mechanics. That is a very difficult subject and one that required great effort on my part to obtain some understanding. Your characters definitely push you.

There is, likely, a mixture of many motivations in most writers. They are both complex and simple, obvious and deep. Some writers are aware of what they feel and why they feel as they do. Others are aware only of their feelings after they have written their stories. You may not always be sure of your reasons for writing, but you will likely be convinced of your undeniable need to write. It’s amazing, really, that psychiatry has not diagnosed writing as an altered state of consciousness, and writers as those who can go into a trace and leave reality at the strike of a computer key.

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