Language is my jam, though I’m not nearly patient enough for a career as a lexicographer or grammarian (and besides, most grammar rules are completely arbitrary and unworthy of enforcement in most creative endeavors. I’ll end a sentence with a preposition if I feel like it). I love playing with words, finding rhythm, getting the balance just right. Creativity has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, both as a creator and a consumer. To hear my mom tell it, I was reading by age two and I’ve been engrossed in fantastic stories since. I used to draw when I was younger, have tried my hand at musicianship, and briefly flirted with the idea of being an actor. I kept coming back to storytelling.
I write because writing is sometimes fun, sometimes interesting, sometimes enlightening. It’s also occasionally frustrating, stressful, and infuriating. Suffering for one’s writing art is de rigueur more and more these days, but I reject the notion that one must “open a vein and bleed” all over the page. Writing is almost always difficult to one degree or another, but what’s the worth of any project that doesn’t involve a bit of challenge?
Writing is enjoyable, and I publish what I’ve written because I want people to enjoy my characters, stories, and ideas.
Simple as that.
As for what I get out of writing? A sense of accomplishment. Pride. Joy. Humility when others read and respond to my stories. And it’s the compact with the reader that brings me to my final bit for today.
My pledge: no content warnings
I’m still formalizing what will become my personal laws of writing, but first among them is this: my work will never need a content warning. That’s not to say bad things won’t happen to good people or that the work won’t be challenging. What it does mean is that rape is off the table. There’s rarely a good reason to put a character through that ordeal and too few writers have the skill required to handle the subject with care.
To those who would say that removing such things is ignoring part of life, I say this: fictional stories aren’t histories. I have no obligation to play by the rules of reality, only the rules of the realities I create.