Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why do you write?

Hi, I'm Zoe. How many times have I asked myself this question - then again yesterday when I put myself through what I vowed I'll never do again - that last minute rush to put in an entry. This time for the Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Not so frenzied this time as before, the last minute rush was a final edit when I was on the train to work. Wish me luck - and on with my first blog...

Why do we do anything? There are mostly many reasons but writing has always been one of my best friends. Over the years I have used writing to explore how I think or feel about a situation or a subject, to understand anothers' point of view and why they might act as they do. Somehow putting pen to paper makes you think about things differently. I try never to go off and confront someone before I've written it all down and decided whether I really want to say those things.

When I feel hurt or upset I write about it and I can make a bad situation end better, think up clever and witty retorts I will probably never get to use but which make me smile. It allows me to tell my friends why and how much I treasure their friendship. To those who are not my friends, I can write my side of the story whether they know/read it or not.

When I started writing stories with a view to being published I discovered the fun of writing for pleasure rather than purpose. I can be whomever I wish, live out all my fantasies and fall in love with the most wonderful men-all without leaving the comfort of my chair.

At eleven o'clock one night in November of 2005 with the rush of knowing I will actually finish a book for the first time in my life, my infinitely patient hubby (who had been asleep for three hours already) came to the door of my office and said "Aren't you going to come to bed (to get some sleep of course because my eyes were hanging out of my head) tonight?"

What did I say? "But I want to know what happens!" It's worse than reading a great book because you know the ending isn't there yet and if I want to know what happens I have to keep on writing. It's magic when my characters come to life, surprising me with what they do and say. They make me laugh and cry and I hate to let them go back into their box or wherever it is they go while life happens outside.

Welcome to the world of the Romantix where anything can happen and probably will.

So, why do you read? Why do you write? Are we writers really so different?


  1. Good job on your first post Zoe! Why do I write? Because I'm out of my mind of course. I just had to chose the most difficult way of expressing myself I could find.

  2. So you've settled on historicals, have you? I loved your grease monkey story in Little Gems so I'll be interested in your next historical. I, too, adored Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.


  3. Wow Zoe, I can really relate to that - wanting to see where the characters go and what happens to them. Good first blog.

  4. If I could give up sleep all together and stay glued to my laptop until the story is down, I'd be a much less scattered person in my personal life. Thankfully, I have a husband who finds the whole process fascinating and doesn't mind when he finds milk in the cupboard and the cereal box in the fridge.

    Also, I absolutely loved Gaskell's North and South. IMHO John Thornton has the same dark sizzle as Mr. Darcy.