Sometimes I ask myself, "Why do I write?" It's not as if I don't have other things I should be doing, like cleaning my house or pulling weeds in the garden, or making a dinner that didn't come in a box I bought at Costco. Sometimes I sit down at the computer and have to force myself to type a few paragraphs on my work in progress, or rewrite a scene that's been bothering me. It isn't always fun.
So why do I feel compelled to do it?
I am a stay-at-home mother of three kids-- three clever, adorable, and somewhat rambunctious kids ranging in age from 2 to 5 (yup, that's 3 in 3 years, we're crazy). I love being a stay-at-home mom, and I'm not just saying that. I love that I get to be with them all day long and that I get to enjoy all of the little moments that make parenting worthwhile. Like when my five-year-old came up to me a few weeks ago with a piece of paper covered in words that she'd spelled all by herself-- including mome (mommie), dade (daddy), and my personal favorite kmpyooder (computer). Or when my two year old says "Mom, wanna nuggle?" and then hops up on my lap and snuggles for a few minutes just because.
So I love what I do. I can honestly say there isn't anywhere I'd rather be every day. But... sometimes I feel like all I do is feed them and clean up after them and keep them from fighting with each other. Sometimes I go days without speaking to another adult (aside from my husband). And sometimes I wonder why I even bothered graduating from college.
When my oldest was about 2 I decided that I needed to be doing something creative--something to remind me that I have a brain. I tried quilting... um, lets just say that wasn't my forté. I took a pottery class and I loved it, but I wasn't really great at that either.
The next year I decided I wanted to write a book. I'm still not really sure why. I always kind of liked to write, my first degree was in Print Journalism, but I'd never done much creative writing. I loved to read though, so maybe that was it. For some reason I started and I stuck with it and for the past two years I've poured almost all of my creative energy writing fiction.
After a few months of neglecting my house (because I was using my baby's nap time for writing instead of cleaning), I found that my kids and husband still loved me, and I was happier. Writing was good for me.
I sometimes feel like a bit of an upstart when I read about how other aspiring writers have dreamed about writing books since they were eight-years-old and they've written 28 full length novels since then. I began writing when I was 26-years-old, a week after I gave birth to my 3rd child. Now I write because it's what I do. Writing is my outlet. It reminds me that I am a creative being and not just a cleaning machine. And it makes me happy.
This makes me wonder about other people's motivation for writing. So I'll ask you:
Why do you write? Or if you aren't a writer, what is your creative pursuit and how does it enrich your life?