Why we write what we write.

I have published over thirty books. They’re not all live anymore. Several I’ve since unpublished.

Each book has a story. I’m not talking about the story the book tells, but the story behind why the book was written in the first place.

Recently I asked some of my fellow authors why they wrote the first book they ever published. Their answers were varied. Some authors were inspired to write because of an event or dream. Others saw it as a challenge or culmination of a long-held goal. One thing I learned, we don’t all write for the same reason. In fact, authors don’t necessarily write all their books for the same reason.  I know I don’t.

I’ve decided to do a series of blogposts called Each book has a story. In each post I will be featuring one of my books. I won’t necessarily focus on the story the book tells, as much as why I wrote the book in the first place.

The first book I’m featuring is Motherhood, a book of poetry.

In 1982 my husband and I moved to the mountain village of Wrightwood, California. At the time we had a three-month-old daughter and a three-year-old son. We lived fulltime in Wrightwood for the next nine years. It was during those years I wrote most of the poems contained in my book, Motherhood.

The reason for writing the poems was fairly simple. I wanted to express my experiences as a mother—capture what I felt. As the years went by, I would jot down the poems that came to me.

I shared the collection with family members—my sister, mother, mother-in-law. The first books were pages reproduced on a copy machine and bound in a homemade quilted cover.

Years later, when my daughter Elizabeth attended the Art Institute, majoring in Graphic Design, she needed an idea for her senior project. We discussed various ideas, and she eventually decided to format my book of poems and design its cover and create graphics to accompany the poems.  When she was finished, she self-published the book at Lulu for her class.

The project was a personal one and never intended as a commercial endeavor. Yet, I eventually created the eBook version and sold it, along with the paperback, online.

In Amazon its description reads: Motherhood a book of poems is a collection of whimsical prose, featuring the assortment of poignant experiences unique to women who have loved and nurtured sons and daughters. The range is broad, capturing the swiftness of time, moments of quiet, times of chaos, frantic fear, yet most of all, unconditional love.

Today, my daughter, Elizabeth, is a professional freelance graphic designer, and her specialty is book covers. She designs my book covers and covers for many well-known New York Times Bestselling authors. You can see her work here.

Motherhood was her first book cover.



Why We Write (Don’t expect an answer.)

shutterstock_93888976When my author friends share a positive message from a reader—where the reader enjoyed the story enough to contact the author—a common response is something along the line of, “That’s what makes this all worth it!” Now if the reader tells the author the story changed his or her life for the better, magnify the sentiment a hundredfold.

While readers’ positive feedback definitely make it all worth it—it’s not necessarily why most of us write. If that were the case, it would mean writers are nothing more than attention seekers, whose primary goal is to get positive feedback.

The fact is, most writers would probably keep writing if no one ever read our words. Many of the writers I know tend to be introverts and probably have a stack of unread manuscripts, poems, essays, or short stories stashed away.

So, what does it really mean to a writer when a reader sends encouraging words? When a reader tells you your words mattered, or pleads with you for more? I can’t speak for all writers, but for me, it’s the added whipped cream.

shutterstock_366416324And that added whipped cream encourages me not necessarily to write (something I am compelled to do anyway) but it encourages me to publish. It also fuels my creative energy to continue writing along a specific storyline, such as with the Haunting Danielle Series.

To my readers who have taken the time to send me kind words of encouragement, who have left positive reviews or comments on Facebook or my blog—thank you for being my muse, and for the helping of whipped cream atop the slice of chocolate cake that is my writing career.