Why do we do it?

Over the past week, I’ve been running a click-based ad campaign on Goodreads.

I also spent time answering the sample questions which Goodreads suggests for the author page. All of them amount to the same bottom line: why/how do you write?  – and for independently-published authors, I’m rapidly realising that the answers should NEVER include the words ‘money’ or ‘fame’ or even ‘notoriety’, because if you use software such as Kindle Spy, you’ll know that many (most?) of us are not too dissimilar to those scientists who spend their time sending messages into outer space……

Which set me to thinking: why the heck DO I bother? I have a friend who has written several books and never tried to get a single one published. She seems happy with that, so am I crazy to have spent money on editors, cover designer, etc etc? I don’t feel I am, because the reason I bother is that the characters in my books get a grasp on my mind that I can’t shake off. If I didn’t do my best to give them a voice, and hope that even a few other people would love them as much as I do, I’d be doing them a disservice.

I leave it to others to write because they have devised marvellous & intricate plots.  For me, the whole reason to write is all about the characters. Not that I’m proud to be a ‘pantser’ rather than a ‘plotter’, and I must own up to having read Martha Alderson’s ‘Plot Whisperer’ recently, and to having several metres of lining paper complete with a ‘plot line’, and adorned with coloured post-its on the wall of the writing hut, as novel #4 moves along…

I’d have liked to see a lot of those views on Goodreads translate into people reading my books, but hey, you can lead a horse to water, etc etc. I certainly don’t regret any of the time, effort & money I’ve expended on making The Balvaig Trilogy every bit as good as I can make it.

By Fiona Cameron

Former journalist, PR consultant and fiction writer, cat- and dog-owner, currently living in beautiful Galloway, SW of Scotland. Passionately concerned about my country's environment, animal rights and freedom of expression for all authors & artists.

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