“Why do you write” might be a more important question” than “what do you write” even though you will seldom be asked this as an author. The “why” is powerful.
“To be sell books”, “to make money”, or “to be discovered” are not valid answers. Let me explain why. You could sell anything. Why do you write? You could make money working at a McDonald’s. Why do you write? You could be discovered as an actor, singer, or artist. Why do you write?
The way you answer this fundamental question tells me a lot about the quality of your product.
Before I share my motivation, let me share some answers I’ve heard and what these answers mean to me:
- I want to tell my family about my life. I actually love this answer and it tells me your specific audience. If I don’t get your book, that’s okay. It was never meant for me anyway.
- I love writing. Again, also a great answer. You can do something simply because you love it and no one can judge you for expressing yourself simply for the joy of it. I might love cooking but I will never be Bobby Flay; that’s okay. I’m not cooking (or writing) because I need to be a professional.
“Why do I write?”
I feel there are important real world issues that can best be explored through science fiction. For example, Project Dandelion examines how we place value on life and asks the question “does life have value outside of culture?”
I’m currently writing another novel examines discrimination and asks “what makes you human?”
I write because I believe these are important issues and science fiction provides vehicle for discussing them.
Write Something That Matters.