I've been doing this "writing thing" since the early 1990s. I've been online since 2002. In that time, I've worked and networked with more authors than I can count. I've also learned a few things about writers.
Generally there are two categories - those who write for fame and fortune (who are quickly and completely frustrated right from the start) and those who write because they have no other choice.
Today I took another blow to my writing ego. I shared the devastating "returns" syndrome with so many other writers and the thought "why the heck do I even bother" screamed through my mind as I unpacked the unexpected boxes with the unexpected bill. Yet, here I sit at my computer, another window up behind this blog, one with the first three chapters of my next book. Crazy - yeppers. I would like a room with a window please.
I slave over my writing, getting lost in the characters' lives, making sure every word, sentence, paragraph and chapter has a purpose and the right emotional punch. Why? I do not, nor did I ever, expect fame or fortune. In fact, fame would flat out terrify me. Fortune would be nice, but I'm not delusional - I know how the book business works and the author is at the bottom of the totem pole after everyone else (printer, wholesaller, stores) has taken a huge bite.
So, what do I write for? I suppose the answer to that is I write for my characters and for the handful of people who I know will enjoy my tales as well as for anyone else who should find one of my books. And I write because I must.
I fit squarely into the category of writers who need to put stories to paper as much as they need to breathe. Sure I can "not" write. In fact, I have gone for long periods of time being busy with other things, but a really odd thing happens. My head jams full of scenes and characters and I get really cranky. I know that's true because this week, after sitting at the computer for two hours and writing out 6,000 words straight, my kids said "PHEW - no more grouchy mom now." And I sink into my chair and wonder if I was really that bad.
Here looms another night well into the wee hours of the morning spent with two new characters who are a lot more fun than my "real" life right now because I know what the next several chapters are going to be and won't be able to sleep until they are purged. I get a lot of enjoyment out of that just for the experience of it. I get to escape into creation with the hopes that others will escape with the characters when they are released and ready for order. Whenever that might be.