A question writers are frequently asked is why they write. My answer to this has always been that I feel compelled to tell stories and express myself through words and writing. In other words, it’s an affliction. Yep, that’s what I’m saying. I feel compelled to do it, no matter how hard, no matter how much it demands, no matter how many things I miss because I’m inside in my dark office that looks out from one window on a wood pile and the other on the shed. Urg. But there I sit, on the coldest day or the hottest day, in front of a pink lap top, slipping into another world via words. But that’s on a good day. There are days where I sit in front of the lap top and I hear every rain drop and every cough of the wind and the writing feels hard.
But I’m busy at work on my second novel, Listening for the Island, which links to Heave through the character of Fancy Mosher. And this takes me to the other reason why I write: so people will read my stories. I’m not content to write a story and then put it in a drawer or show it to my beloved mum so she can tell me how great it is (or, in her droll but well intentioned way, how much work it needs, ha ha). So it is with gratitude that I say, I write for readers, to share my peek at the world through stories and language and ideas. It’s an exploration and it isn’t to be taken alone. I always loved how I could read a book and have my experience of it, marveled that someone could create 300 pages and then as a reader, i could find my own voice in their story.
I’d like to say every writer is grateful when a reader picks up their book but I don’t know if that is the case. But it is for me. I am grateful in this busy time we live in (perhaps all times were busy?) when someone picks up my novel, or a story I have in a journal or magazine, and begins to read. There is nothing else, is there, for a writer?
And so I say, for all those moments spent reading any book, reading in a chair by a fire or on a subway, to a child at bedtime, reading on the beach, in the bathtub, late at night when you can’t sleep, whenever and wherever, thank you, thank you for reading.
Sparklies from the dirt road,