I had an epiphany the other day about writing. It was spurred by a conversation I had with children’s author Adam Sidwell last week. He and I were engaged in a like-minded conversation that began with “Do you ever…” or “Isn’t it funny when…” Those conversations only work between people who share something in common. In this case writing books.
We were both saying how we imagine our characters in our heads. We imagine conversations they have, places they go, things they do. It’s way fun and creative. I said, “It’s basically imaginative play!”
I chewed on this the rest of the week. And as a result had this epiphany: you have to write for yourself. There’s a lot of wisdom in what authors and publishers say about writing for a particular audience or reader. True. But when it comes down to it, you have to write for yourself. Writing is so much work and can be lonely. You have to write what you absolutely love to make it worth it.
And a liberating change came over me: I don’t care if others don’t like my stories. I love them. I love my characters, settings, dialogue, etc. I want to imaginative play with them all the time. And at the end of the day, that love draws me to write.
Do what you love, and love what you do!