Passion, Purpose, Profession

“No one forces you to ply the trade you follow. But if you do choose it, then acquit yourself to the best of your ability. And above all, you should not think of writing as a way of earning your living. If you do, your work will smell of poverty. It will be colored by your weakness and be as thin as your hunger. There are other trades which you can take up… Our opinion of you will not be any poorer, and since you will be sparing us acres of boredom, we may even think the better of you.” – Essay on Novels; The Marquis de Sade

I’ve been pondering this subject as I scribble (not literally) furiously during this National Novel Writing Month of November. Why on earth does one choose to pursue this challenge? Or for that matter, why choose the whole pursuit of writing and story telling? Surely, its not for the money…

There has to be that voice in your head whispering or shouting at you: ‘tell my story, it needs to be heard and you are the only one who can tell it.’ The voice has to be louder than the voices telling you you can’t do this, that you shouldn’t do this. And when you write, you must tell that story in just the way you want to, not pandering to what is popular or what you think will sell. That is not to say that your writing loses artistic integrity if it becomes commercially successful. We all want to sell books. It loses artistic integrity if your primary goal is to become commercially successful, because then you will write as a salesman not as an author.

So… write well, write from your heart and this month, if you’re participating in the insanity, write A LOT!