This is a good question. And one that has a couple different answers.
First of all, I just AM a writer. It’s part of who I am, like my curly hair and my skinny feet.
Second of all, I write because there are always people in my head. Stories spinning out. I’ve always worked my way through stories when I was bored, and starting writing ‘romances’ (ha ha) when I was in seventh grade, after the discovery of a friend’s mom’s Harlequins.
(Mine were a teeny bit different from those as I had no idea what, say, romance really was.)
But it wasn’t until the night before my first ‘real’ job (that required the use of my shiny new Master’s degree) that I realized I could write for publication. Somehow I’d never made that connection. It took a bit, but I used my 2-hour one-way commute to plot and sort and plan stories. Eventually I got so I’d start to scribble notes at traffic jams (lots of those on the drag strip known as I-75 in the Detroit area). And finally, I got a computer (my mom gave me an old Mac Performa–yep, I’m dating myself, but let me say it was already old when I got it!) and started in.
I found writing groups. I found RWA. This was a revelation to me, that there were thousands of other romance writers out there! I joined it and my local chapter eventually as well. The internet opened up so many possibilities, too–writers, writers everywhere.
So I wrote that first story. I have it out now, am revising it. It amazes me how much I’ve grown as a writer since I started that first book almost ten years ago. I’d have to say I’m rewriting rather than revising, using the same characters and general plot, but with the benefit of what I’ve learned. It is a better book, for sure.
And I wrote it because there wasn’t really any other option. These people show up in my head, and they need their stories told. I don’t use a muse (I fired her along with my internal editor–thank you NaNoWriMo!) but I do use cool colored pens.
But most of all, I write because I love it. Because, even when it’s hard (and it can be mind-bendingly hard) it’s what I do. It’s who I am.
I am a writer.
Are you a writer or a reader?