The Phoenix Microburst conference was great! Really, every time I teach at a writing conference I come away feeling like I’ve learned so much. David Morrell was great speaker. I could listen to him all day. In fact, I could follow him around from conference to conference like a stalker. (See last blog.)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with David’s books, he writes a lot of best sellers. He wrote First Blood, which was turned into all the Rambo movies. This is as close as I’ve gotten to Sylvester Stallone since I posed for a picture on his bed. (Long story.)
Anyway, David knows a ton about writing and promoting.
The good news: I’m now more motivated to shove all those flyers which are sitting in my family room into envelopes.
The bad news: I just realized that even if I become really famous, I will still have to shove flyers into envelopes, because David still does. He showed us some of his, in fact.
The envelopes apparently never end, and all I can say is thank goodness for self adhesive! Ditto goes for the stamps. I would choke if I had to lick them all.
David also said some things about writers that made me think. First of all, like many authors I know, he had a lousy childhood. This really makes me wonder if all writers have something traumatic happen in their young years. (Besides Junior High, that is, which is traumatic for everyone.) It makes me wonder what I’d be doing now if my mother hadn’t died when I was six. Maybe I’d be an executive of some corporation, or a really organized room-mother who makes matching theme shirts for all the students in her kid’s class on water day. Or at least maybe I’d be dressed and showered in the morning instead of huddled over a computer trying to delve into the psyche of characters who don’t really exist.
But Ces’t la vie.
David said that he thinks every person has one driving quality about them; something that motivates their actions. As writers we often say this about our characters, but I’ve never heard anyone say it about authors. I have since been wondering, but can’t tell you, what my over-riding quality is. I asked my husband but he is no help in these matters. He is an electrical engineer and therefore doesn’t notice people’s qualities. He does, however, understand how to work the computer so I keep him around.
David asked us to ask ourselves why we write. The obvious answer is, “Because I have to.” Most of us know this and leave it at that. He asked us to take the question one step further, “Why do I have to write?”
He spent some time telling us about his life and why he has to write. I won’t try to give you a synopsis of his answer because I couldn’t do it justice and you might want to hear him speak some day. (If you have the chance, do.) But since then I’ve turned the question over in my mind. Why do I have to write? I think I know the answer to this one, but I’ll let others weigh in first. What do you have to say, writers? Why do you have to write?