Not too long ago I was asked in an interview: “What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time?”
The question struck me odd. Not in its content, but in my reaction to it. You see, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I can’t remember when I didn’t. And over the years, I’ve picked up the pen many times. And I’ve put it down many times. Up and down. Up and down. The seesaw of desire vs. commitment.
The real question is: "What drove me to pick up the pen for the last time and never put it down?"
Because isn’t that what being a writer is all about? Picking up the pen and never putting it down again. You can’t bring the dream of becoming a writer to fruition unless you keep the pen in your hand. Or fingers on the keyboard. Keeping your butt in the chair is tougher than it sounds, but the only way to succeed. And there is a direct correlation to the butt in the chair and the pen in the hand.
Another question I was asked recently during a library event was: “When did the passion to write strike you?”
While these two questions seem a lot alike, they are very different. One is about motivation to take action. The other about the drive to continue.
The passion to write burns in my belly like a greasy, yet yummy, bacon cheeseburger. It drives me to continue, book after book. It convinces me to juggle a day job and other responsibilities, to carve out time, often far into the night, many times before the sun is up, to produce each new novel. And with each book, my passion for writing grows, not diminishes. And the continuing glow of passion births bright and burning new ideas.
The more I write, the more I want to write. The more I want to write, the more ideas I have for new books. It is an addictive love affair that I could never bear to end.
The last time I took up the pen, I mated for life.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -- Ernest Hemingway