I was talking to my stepmom last week and the conversation turned to my writing. She's not that interested in fantasy or science fiction, but she tries to be supportive. She asked me how my work was going. We hadn't talked about it for a while so I told her the project we'd discussed the last time we talked about it had a finished first draft and I was working on a Snow White retelling that I was having fun with.
Then she asked me when I thought I'd actually get paid for my writing. I told her I was still waiting to hear back from some e-zines about the short stories I'd submitted to them. Then I said depending on if I self-pubbed, went to a small press, or got a publishing contract from the Big 5, it could be up to two years before it saw print and I saw some money from the novels. Not to mention I have to finish revising them and find someone to read through and point out my mistakes.
She said it sounded like a lot of work for little return. I told her it could seem that way but for me writing was more than just for money. When she asked me why I write, I had an answer for her that she didn't understand.
This is what I told her: I write because I have stories to tell.
I don't mind the thought of getting paid for it. I've been leaning towards submitting my writing to different places in the hopes that my stories are well received by others. And I'd be lying if I didn't say my goal is to publish. But it's not the money that drives me. It's the need to tell as many people as possible the stories kicking around in my head.
And I have a lot of stories.
So, here's a question for all of you. Why do you write?