I don’t write for the money. For each of the last twenty years, I have consistently spent more money on writing than I’ve earned. It’s not unusual to spend $1000-2000 to travel to a conference where you might sell only four or five books. But you do it for the networking, the comradery, the community.
I don’t write for fame. I have felt pretty invisible most of my (writing) life. I have spent many book signing events sitting beside someone with a line of people waiting to have their books signed while I sit and quietly hope I don’t look too awkward there with no one in my line. But, I don’t write for those times. I write for the times when I have an event at my community clubhouse and forty people show up to support me. I write because out of that forty, a dozen are my coworkers, many of whom show up at every local event. I write because friends from different areas of my life show up even though they’ve already downloaded the latest book. I write because new neighbors and neighborhood friends want to see me succeed.
I don’t write for acceptance. My sexiest book (Confined Spaces) might outsell the others 5:1, but that doesn’t mean the majority of people I know are comfortable, or are totally accepting of, the lesbian sex in that book. Then there is the fact that I kill people frequently. I sometimes kill beloved characters and often kill evil ones. But every now and then I decide I don’t want a body count in my book, so I commit to a sweet (and sexy) romance like my work-in-progress, currently titled Pause, where no one dies on the page.
I don’t write for therapy. Well, not often. On June 12th, though, I did. Where I’d planned to work on a pretty intense scene, after hours of watching the aftermath of the carnage at Pulse in Orlando, I skipped ahead to the final love/sex scene in Pause. I did this because when faced with that much hate, I chose to write about love.