I think Shakespeare said it best: "To be, or not to be, that is the question."
For me, that is a deep, soul searching question because writing is not easy. I can't sit down at the keyboard and hammer out a new novel in a week, or write a 500 word article in an afternoon, or even tackle a letter if my mind is not on it. I need to be inspired first. Then, that inspiration takes time to germinate, to evolve, to motivate, and finally to write. It is a process, and I needed to know the time involved was worth it. So, for the last two months, except for my blog on children's issues, I have written very little. Instead, my days have revolved around homeschooling my 9 year-old granddaughter, and hoping I was honoring her mother with my teaching process.
Then two weeks ago, my granddaughter asked me, "Nana, why aren't you writing?" I gave her the usual answer of not enough time, to which she replied, "But you have so many books in your head. How am I going to read them, if you don't write them."
It is truly amazing to me how a child's smile and honesty can spark creativity in an adult. I had lost the important reason to write, but she helped me find it. I write for her, her sister, my other grandchildren, and all the kids whose voices are too low to be heard. I write so that someday, somewhere, a child will read one of my books and his or her day will be a little better. That's why I wrote Oliver's Hunger Dragon, and that's why I started writing my next picture book yesterday.
So, if you write, have you ever asked yourself why. I know the answer most writers--beginning or not--tend to give is, "I have always written since I was a child." Okay, but why? If it's for fame or fortune, you've chosen the wrong field. Not many of us writers and authors reach that platform. There has to be a deeper, soul-searching reason for willingly putting your thoughts down on paper for all the world to see. So maybe it is time to set your priorities by first asking yourself: Why do I write? You might be surprised at the answer. I know I was.