Why Do I Write Books?

I was going to title this, “Why do I write?” but that question is answered by an internal spark inside of me, which I cannot fully explain. But why do I write books? What motivates me to invest financially and emotionally in creating finished products out of my writings? Well, that has a more concrete answer.

For the past two years or so, I have attributed my desire to write a book (and then another book!) as a way to counteract my perfectionist tendencies, as well as those of my mother. We both have a tendency to want to make something perfect before we share it with the public and I have seen my mother’s frustrations at having started her own creative projects, but not quite bringing them to fruition.

This feeling of just wanting to put myself out there and be heard and seen was one of the great driving forces that motivated me to start a listserv seven years ago and send out my writings to friends and family. Each time I pressed the send button, I felt liberated in knowing that I had edited and reviewed my writing well enough, and it was now ready for the consumption of others.

But there is another reason why putting out a book is so attractive to me. And while I am not always as conscious of this reason, it is just as powerful and cathartic, if not more so.

I write and publish books in order to create products that will last eternally. Having experienced the sudden death of my father when I was twenty-one, I learned that life is short. Publishing books of my writings is a way for me to soothe my soul—to affirm that I will make my mark on this earth and have an influence on this world that goes beyond my own lifetime (may it be a long one). My father’s sudden passing taught me the fragility and temporal nature of life. I want to connect to posterity, just as my father lives on in me and in the many lives which he so beautifully touched.