Why I Write by J Vincent

The topic for April is Why We Write. In the beginning wrote because I had to.  I was driven to by the characters in my mind who would not stop talking, by the stories that kept growing and blooming, prodding and pushing until they were on paper--in the good old days--and in the word processor now.  I can still recall how the first book I ever wrote took shape in my mind.  Once the concept occurred to me each day brought  a new scene to mind and more dialogue sprang to life.  Incidents caused chain reaction chapters. I had to start writing it down even though I thought I was an idiot to try and write a book.  After all how do you explain voices in your head to people who don’t have them in theirs?  The characters in my first book didn’t quiet down and go away until their story was done.  And so it was with the next story, my first regency.
That first regency which later was published as The Bond of Honour, got rejection after rejection.  Frustrated, I sat down and made a list of what the editors wanted in a regency.  This was the first time I wrote to SELL.  I finished the book. and sent it off.  The next day I looked at the first chapter and frantically wondered how I could get it back.  That it was drivel and poorly written were only some of the things I thought.  Two weeks later I got a call from Vivian Stephens at Dell Publishing in New York.  She loved it.  She bought it.  Thomasina
Three years later what was “in” changed.  My stories were out.Three growing children, orthodontia bills and all that sent me back to teaching.  When I retired from teaching I wanted to know if I could write an entire book again. So I wrote just to see if I could still do it.  I started with a plot that I had described to my daughters with such detail when they were small they still remembered the plot as adults.  I had only begun that book when my characters once again took charge.  They killed my villain way too early putting me in a dilemma as how to proceed.  From somewhere, I’m still not sure where, came what turned into the Honour Series. As I continued what became the first book, Honour’sDebt, six other stories  for the series came to me in full detail.  I wrote four of them.  The fourth was begun when I was having increasing trouble with health issues.  These issues became so serious I was unable to continue writing.  When I was well enough to return to that book, I read what I had written,  scrapped it, started over.  Shortly after I finished it I was again too ill to continue writing.
Somewhere along the line of unending medical bouts these past years the voices grew quieter. less insistent.  The stories are no longer prodding and pushing to be told.  These days I am the one who has to pull out the whip and get myself into writing.  BITHOK we say--Butt in chair, Hands on the keyboard.  It is very good advice.  Even when the characters were demanding, I found tenacity and perseverance to be a writer’s, at least this one’s, best friend. If the book doesn’t get written no one can read it.
Does it matter why I write?  Why anyone writes?  I don’t think so mainly because the “why” is a kaleidoscope of reasons determined by our environment, our mood, where we are at in our lives, and many other things.  Sometimes I write simply to prove I can.  At other times it is to experience the flow of words, the beauty of vocabulary.  Or I write simply because I made a commitment--as in this blog.  I write because others, my sister in particular, expect it.  Through all or despite all of the reasons I write, I learned that writing satisfies something in me.  Last week I started on the fifth book of the Honour series.  With a goal of only a page a day, it’s a pretty wimpy effort, but the voices are growing stronger, the story more demanding.  Sometimes BITHOK is the only way I write.  Whatever works as they say!
Success, praise, whatever you want to call it is another reason to write.  Who isn’t thrilled when someone tells them their book is terrific, or that it helped them through a rough time? I recently received a reminder of this from a compliment on Never to Part, my regency paranormal released last month. Also  Honour’s Choice Book 2 in the Honour Series which is now available was given 4 stars by Donna Brown in May’s RT Book Reviews.  There’s more suspense than romance in the second entry to Vincent’s Honour series, but both keep the reader on the edge as finely-wrought characters tell an exciting tale. Unresolved circumstances leave the reader eager for book three.  
These are some of the reasons I write.  Are some of them your reasons too?


Reese Mobley said...

What a bumpy journey you've had. Here's to smooth sailing from now on.