I’ve been wondering, a great deal actually, about Real Authors. These people who, in spite of the statistics and naysayers, somehow manage to make a great living out of the crazy ideas that come to their heads.
Now, collectively, there is no way to judge this bunch. At the risk of sounding like a complete snob, I’m not going to illustrate my opinion on some of our best selling authors, because that’s not nice. It sounds a bit too much like sour grapes, and that’s not my point.
I guess, what I’m trying to say (rather circuitously, I realize) is that, well, it happens to people. People find an audience. Whether it’s rehashing the same mystery story over and over again, resurrecting medieval legends, or crafting truly original and beautiful works–people still read. We, as human beings, thirst for stories. We want to know characters; we revel in their joys, we despair with their defeats. We need narrative, for–even as unlike it may be to our own lives–it reminds us of why we are.
And me, what do I have to prove? Nothing, really. I certainly don’t feel like writing is something I Must Do To Show Everyone. It’s just the Thing I Do. I fall asleep at night pondering details of a world that doesn’t, to my immediate knowledge, exist (other than in my own gray matter). Scenes and encounters and characters flash before me… and why? What will it matter, when all is said and done? What if no one likes it? What if I’m not any good?
I guess, when it comes down to it, I hope people like it; but at this point, I could no more stop writing stories than I could brushing my teeth every morning and night.
Were I a bard in a remote village, I’d gather the children (and other more imaginative folks) and tell them stories, too. And when my son is old enough to appreciate a good story, I hope, at very least, that I can kindle a love of story in him. Because that, in all my childhood, was the single greatest gift I ever was given–a sort of Promethean spark, as it were…
In the end, I just want to tell a good story.