I spent a portion of my Saturday morning reading last week's blog entries on a variety of writing and book review sites. Themes tend to be cyclical in nature and last week brought discussions on why writers write and how they do it. Once you move past the pontificating, most reasonable folks admit that there is no correct way to get the story out on 'paper' and that people write because they have a story to tell. Now, the tricky part comes when the discussion turns to what a writer wants to get out of the finished product. Publication? Money? Fame? What motivates a person to write is a whole different thing.
Within the last five years my reason for writing has changed. I started to write novel length fiction nine years ago after my third child was born. I needed a creative outlet and something in my life that was just mine. After we moved to our current location, I found a writer's group and started to toy with the idea of publication. I'd had a magazine article/essay published and loved getting that check in the mail. It was a whole $75.00. I loved more seeing my words and my name in print.
Once I started my library job, I saw my words and name in print every week as I was responsible for all the public relations work in addition to my YA duties. Now that I'm a volunteer with the Friends, I still get that printed pat on the head every so often.
Enough recognition that in many ways the need to write fiction has waned. I still have ideas. I still toy with the WIPs on occasion, but the 'fire in the belly' isn't burning too hot right now. Family dynamics also play into this as we are in a big transitional year with the kids. I don't do well trying to balance my needs with the need to be the family cruise director. Something always gives and it is the writing.
The beautiful thing is that the writing will be there for me when I'm ready to return to it. I don't sweat it too much anymore. Things are cyclical and I guess I've lived long enough to know that everything comes back around.