A few years ago my whole family took ice skating lessons. For two years we went to the rink every Saturday morning and three of us even took part in the annual Ice Show (not me of course, performing is something I definitely shy away from!) Every year, the woman who ran the show would vow ‘never again’, but every year she would change her mind and the show would go on. Why? Because the audience loved it, she loved creating it and despite the headaches, it was a magical experience and her life would have been that much emptier without it.
That’s how I feel about writing. I used to think I wrote because I wanted fame and fortune. (OK, fortune rather than fame) and of course it’s lovely to be rewarded financially for your efforts: ‘£25 for 3rd place in a competition - wow, lovely thanks.’ (Ignore the amount you’ve spent entering the story in previous comps without success). But it’s not really money that drives my desire to write. It’s the whole create-something-out-of-nothingness I love, the bringing to life of ideas or characters I didn’t know I had in me but which gain power and momentum once they appear on a page. The polishing and refining of words until you know that the audience will laugh or cry exactly the way you want them to. Just like the Ice Show, it’s magic and we all need a bit of magic in our lives. That’s why I write.