This blog was featured on 02/28/2018
Why I write (or: why I jumped into this crazy creative world) :-)
Contributor

Like so many authors, I loved writing essays at school. I’d bug my teachers when too many days passed without an assignment. That annoying kid sticking up their hand, saying: “Can we write today? Just give us a title…” Yup. Me. Someone threw a glue stick at me once to shut me up.

Writing wasn’t a priority after I left school. During my 20s, I was too focused on my university studies, my burgeoning career and getting married. During my 30s, I had three kids, worked full-time, climbed to the top of the company ladder. I barely had time to breathe, let alone write. As much as I’m in awe of those who rise at 5am and knock out a few pages before breakfast, I was incapable of formulating an idea for a flash fiction piece, let alone writing a novel.

Things changed when we moved to Canada in 2010. A failed attempt at a start-up company left me despondent. I lamented the fact I had no hobbies, and without my high-flying career, little direction. At that point I remembered how much I enjoyed writing as a kid, the excitement of creating something from nothing, but I feared I’d forgotten how. Mercifully, the idea for my first novel popped into my head one morning. I started writing, and never looked back.

The more I write, the more ideas come, to the point where storytelling borders on obsession. When a character emerges from the depths of my brain – sometimes fully formed, mostly not – or when a news article or radio segment makes me think “What if…?”, those are thrilling feelings, the possibilities endless. Spending time with the people I’m creating, developing their stories, their history and, in certain cases, their demise (my move to domestic suspense makes me wonder if I’m harbouring some kind of God complex) is a privilege I can’t ignore.

I’ve had parasomnia, abnormal behaviour while I sleep (playing golf, doing dishes, you name it), for years. Add that to an overactive imagination, and let’s just say my husband gets his very own comedy show, alas, in the middle of the night. And, woe betide I ignore my characters for too long. Whatever the hour (even at 5am), it goes something like this:

Character ensemble:     Hey! Lady! Wake up!

Me (yawning):                You're not going to let me sleep again, huh?

Character ensemble:     NOPE!

Why do I write? Because I can’t not write. It’s excruciating at times (there’s a correlation between how well/badly my first draft is going and the size of my butt. Cookies help, okay? But, finishing a manuscript, going through the revision process with my awesome editor to make the story better, seeing the cover for the first time, working with the marketing and PR teams, and, ultimately sending the people I’ve created off into the world for others to discover…that’s a hard feeling to beat. Add to that the friendships I’ve made with other authors, and the support I’ve found within the writing community, well, it makes this crazy career utterly addictive.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah Mary

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