Author Guest Post: Tess Hardwick

Why Write?

It is a question all writers must ask themselves. The answer is not always clear. I’ve found it difficult to explain even to myself what it is exactly that compels me to sit at my computer each and every day, stringing words together to make a story.

I mean, one doesn’t it do it for the money or the fame. There are certainly easier ways to find both.

One doesn’t do it because it’s easy. The amount of work that goes into even a 500 word blog post can be daunting, not to mention the commitment it takes to write a novel.
And we certainly don’t do it for the cascade of criticism and feedback that comes our way during the drafting of whatever piece we’re working on, a necessary but painful part of any writer’s journey from word to page to publication.
Then, there’s the fact that it’s nearly impossible to get published. Once you do, the amount of marketing required of the author is almost as much work as writing another novel.

Yes, writing is hard work. You have to love it enough to do it every day, even when the practical world is screaming at you, “Stop, go get a day job”.
So why do I do it? Because inside me is a quiet place where the stark truth of who I am lurks, waiting for me to hear and heed the silent plea of my often heedless soul. This is your calling. This is who you are. For all the trials, this is your work here on this earth.

Not my sole purpose, mind you. There are my other purposes: mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend. But this is my vocation, a gift given to me from a power greater than myself. To deny it is to say my maker, this careful construction of me is of no importance. I am of no importance.
Am I the best there is? No way. But the characters and stories come to me, demanding that I document them. Do I have something to say that matters to others? It is my deepest longing.

Because what I know it that life is full of suffering. But words can reach into the suffering and save a life from succumbing to despair. Stories examine, explain and sometimes even heal. They remind us we are not alone in our pain.

In the last several weeks I’ve had several instances that give me hope I’m heeding the call, living up to my potential.

In particular, were letters from two readers. The first from a woman extremely moved by the depiction of my fictional Lee Tucker’s difficult childhood and subsequent issues later in life regarding trust and love. The story was so similar to her own, she said, she felt it was written just for her.
The next was from a woman who said my character’s husband, who commits suicide, reminded her of her own husband, of his drive and ambition that clouds his ability to live.
Then, just today, I had two more. One was from a teacher at my daughter’s school, saying she went back and re-read a section of particular meaning to her; a section I was particularly proud of but a small moment in the scheme of the story. She noticed, I thought. Heaven.

RiversongThe other was from another writer, quoting several sentences in Riversong about grief for her own blog post. My words had inspired a beautiful piece of writing in which she examines the nature of grief in her own life.
A writer wants nothing more. To know that my humble offering moved or inspired someone is as good as it gets.

It is all there is. It is enough.

This is part of a Book Lovin’ Bitches Ebook Tour. Come back tomorrow for a giveaway of Riversong.

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