Why Write?

by Pat Amsden
There are people who find mystifying the idea that
writing is fun. Many times they’d rather do
something such as run or work out, or hike five
miles through the bush. They seem to feel this is a
better way to spend their spare time.

Obviously they haven’t thought this through.
Writing is fun. You can spend hours searching the
Internet for cute guys. It’s all research for that
romance novel you’re working on. You need a good
alpha male. And face it, romance men and real life
men are two different breeds when it comes to
appearance.

I once listened to Jane Porter talk about being
rescued by real life cops, rather than the alpha male
model of cops featured in romance novels. They got
the job done but she was a little disappointed when
they turned out to have pot bellies and greying
hair.

Sometimes fantasy is better than reality.
We can build entire worlds or universes. If you
doubt me, just think of Star Wars, Dune or Middle
Earth. We can borrow as much or as little as we like
from the ordinary, everyday world. And if our
work becomes successful, the “real” world will
happily accept ours. As an example, consider that
New Zealand has now issued coins for The Hobbit
that are legal tender, although it’s unlikely most
purchasers of these coins will spend them. A major
tourism campaign was built around it and the
capital of Wellington was renamed “The Middle
of Middle Earth” for three weeks before and after
the premiere of The Hobbit. Not bad for a fictional
setting.

And we can work out our frustrations. Maybe
Horrible Bosses was conceived by someone happy
with theirs, but I doubt it. No. In a legitimate, legal
and hilarious way they got to work out their
frustration, and profit from it all the way to the
bank, while dreaming up ways to off their boss. All
in a day’s work for a writer.

We can fantasize the perfect wedding. There are no
limits and no budget considerations to our
imagination. Even family and friends can be made
to your specifications. Although if you want conflict
you don’t want to make them too perfect.

Again, we can scour the Internet creating Pinterest
boards filled with ideas or do an old-fashioned
scrapbook. Maybe interview wedding planners
who really do throw million-dollar weddings.
You’re limited only by your imagination.

Really, what would you rather do? Spend a couple
of hours talking about running shoes and blisters or
your ultimate hero, be he firefighter, cop or multimillionaire?
For that matter, if you’re really into running, this is
the chance to dream up your perfect runner hero or
heroine. You’ll be able to pick the brains of runners
you admire in the name of research.

And that, my friends, is the answer to the question,
Why write? Really, why wouldn’t you?

This article was originally published in the VICRWA Tidelines. It was subsequently picked up and published by The Sacremento Valley Rose Newsletter and the Northern Louisiana Stars Loop

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