For the second day in a row I’ve asked myself this question out loud. Quite a telling situation to be sure. The answers are not quick to come either. I roll into the office and set up for the day, dive into whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing and somewhere in the accomplishment phase of said task, I find myself wondering why I’m here? Not the visceral, what is my purpose question, more the specific; I hate my job, I end up frustrated and feeling something just shy of broken every day, so why do I keep plugging away at the 9 – 5? Short answer? I can’t afford not to work. Long answer, I can’t afford not to work.
Writing has been a release and a form of guided meditation, but until that transitions into something more, I think I’m stuck. So, how to make the transition? How do I engage the curve and make that turn? Is it up to me? I think the answer is yes, and no. I think that the ‘leg work’ is mine to do, but there is an element of uncontrolability too, and that makes it both exciting, and frightening. In the end I can put the words on the page, but I also have to listen to the readers some to gauge how to write what they want to read. As a virtual unknown that is a really small group of dedicated amazing people. Are they a true cross-section of my potential audience?
How does this impact stories? I think a little or a lot depending. A well-known writer that I’ve followed for a while took quite a bit of heat not too long ago because after listening to fan outcry at the possibility of a character being killed off, they changed the story from where it was originally going and that threw the opposite end of the fan spectrum into arms. The balance between where you the author are going and where the fans hope you go is sometimes daunting. I consider myself beyond fortunate to have such a strong and true fan base already. I am also fortunate that many/most of them are completely comfortable telling me that I’m doing it wrong. ~laughing~ Yes, I do that too.
In the end, I guess this is not so much about ‘Why am I here?’ but more about how much longer do I have to stay? I hope the time grows shorter. I think I’m ready to get out.