Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Why I Write...(and a literary contest to boot) by Leslie Langtry
Before I started really writing for publication, I heard other writers who were, um, more dramatic about the whole thing. I am not kidding, I have actually been told the following:
"I don't write. I sit at the typewriter and open a vein."
"I write because I have to...the need to write is like the need to eat or breathe."
"Words make me write them. They torment me to do so."
"To forge in the smithy of my soul, the uncreated consciousness of my race."
Okay, so why does Leslie Langtry write? (Perhaps the most important question here is why am I referring to myself in third person?)
I write...(insert drumroll)...because 1) I like to and 2) I get paid to.
Not very lyrical, is it? These are the reasons I write. I get comments on facebook, my website, etc. from those who want to be published, saying the above, poetic stuff. But what does it really mean? And who exactly are they trying to impress? Well, clearly they are meant to imply clinical insanity (I'd vote for schizophrenia), right?
Gone are the days when writers like Voltaire had "sponsors" who supported them so they could lie about in a French salon eating bonbons and drinking champagne. Sigh. But today, it's a business.
A lot of newbies are offended when I tell them, "I would write whatever my publisher wanted. If my publisher wanted me to write in a storefront window downtown wearing a chicken suit - I would do it." That may sound like selling out, but it isn't. Writing is a business. I love writing anything and getting paid for it is just as important. You should see my grocery lists...
Is writing an art form? Yes. Is it a marketable skill? Yes. Would I really wear a chicken suit in a downtown storefront? Yes.
Speaking of art forms - just for fun, one of the above quotes is from an actual, famous writer. If you can tell me which one and who said it, (don't look it up!) I'll put your name in for a drawing for my latest book - I SHOT YOU BABE and a special surprise.
Why do you write?