Every week he issues a writing challenge and while I should accept more of them, today is my first in which he asks us to share why we write.
Why I write is a complex and simple answer all at once.
I write to get the constant swirling of ideas, stories and characters out of my head.
I write because I have something to say and I want other people to know.
I write because if I'm not creating in some way on a regular basis I tend to go a bit insane.
I write to know more about myself.
Those are the reasons that come to mind. They are the honest and blunt truth and not some made up story about how the words are my savior.
My mind rarely shuts down. Even in sleep, dreams are constantly swirling and tempting me with new directions to go.
Writing has become therapy to me where I can say what I want and there is no one that can tell me no. Sure, the haters roll out every so often and poke, but I've been around this rodeo long enough to know how to ignore the clowns.
Words have always been for me first and everyone else second.
This is why after the release of Content Rules you didn't see piles of "how to" and "top ten ways to" posts here. I'm proud of that book, but it is only a piece of me and not what I want to write about all the time.
Amazing Things Will Happen reminded me that I could write something purely for selfish reasons and it could help others. Every time someone thanks me for writing it, my insides warm up.
Unlike some writers, I'm blessed to get paid for my words. Freelance writing assignments are always nice, but sometimes they drain the soul as well.
Sometimes, you churn the words, cash the check and then try to forget how it makes you feel. Other times the rush of the assignment makes you laugh like a five year old on the playground as you ask yourself, "they are paying me to do this?!?!"
Part of that blend of life and work.
There is a pile of notes for a fiction book I want to write. The fear of committing to it is real.
There is a book proposal for a new nonfiction book ninety five percent complete that this week came back into my life after months on the back burner.
So many words, so little time.
Choosing what to commit to writing is the hardest part of being a writer. I could hole away in my office and churn out nothing but dribble for days on end, but how does that help my family.
Do I write a book that might "do well" but do nothing for me?
These are the daily thoughts that roll through my head as I approach the keyboard with a cup of coffee and an endless stream of ideas.
Earlier this week I tweeted this in reaction to the writing I'm seeing done by too many people.
Never create only to please an algorithm.
— C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman) July 27, 2015
In today's world we of course have to think about the search engine monsters, but surrendering to them helps no one but the monsters.
I write because I'm compelled to do so.
Writing is not something I choose to do, it is something I must do.