At dinner with some friends recently, someone wanted to know how my latest book was coming and then followed with, 'Why do you write, anyway?"
Interesting question, and one I'd not given thought to before. I suppose I write because I have to. No choice in it really. Writing is my creative outlook, it's who I am, what I do, one of the ways in which I produce contentment. It's been that way as long as I can remember.
I can't imagine not writing. It's essential, as natural to my being as my beating heart, as crucial to my existence as breathing, as vital to defining who I am as my boating sojourns.
Fact is, I write because I have to.
In saying that, it does occur to me that writing is often described as the loneliest profession: the only job you do totally on your own. Well, I suppose I should be gratified to have what I do called a profession. But lonely? You could term it that way. I mean, as a writer, there's no question you spend hours on your own, focused on pounding words into a manuscript. And if your nature is to be content when you're far from the madding crowd, working in a lonely profession is surely where you'll end up. But I sure don't think of writing as lonely. When I'm working on non-fiction, I'm constantly in touch with interviewees who bring my stories alive (this morning alone I interviewed people in England and Hollywood). That's stimulating and hardly lonely. And when I'm immersed in developing a work of fiction, I'm surrounded by the characters who comprise the plot. Properly deployed, they'll ensure I'm never alone.
Bottom line: I think a writer who finds writing lonely is a lonely writer. And that's sad.