There are many, many reasons why I write. One of them, to borrow from the movie title, is that the world is not enough.
I've always had a lot of things I wanted to do with my life. As a kid, I thought that I could fit into one lifetime the following careers: jet fighter pilot, F.B.I. agent, novelist, elementary school teacher. Also, I would have twelve kids. And I would be tall and gorgeous and wear a brown leather jacket. This was my life plan as a child.
The truth is, however, I am neither tall nor short, I'm not likely to be mistaken for a supermodel (which I am quite comfortable with), and F.B.I. agents just don't make enough money. I have done some pretty neat things with my life so far -- traveled to all seven continents, served as a Marine, interned in a museum of arms & armor, flown a plane solo, taught Iraqi kids how to play kickball. Oh, and I do have the jacket.
But I'm never going to get a chance to do it all. I can only be one person, living one life. And I want to do so much.
Being a writer lets me step into another life, even more intensely than reading does. There are so many interesting people out there, doing interesting things. Maybe I dream of being vegan but can't let go of my carnivorous urges -- my character can be a perfect vegan, though. Maybe I quit boxing after my first few classes, but not my character. Maybe I'll never be a forensic pathologist, an architect or a stockbroker, but with a whole lot of research, I can write it. And while I don't expect to ever have a one night stand, get a tattoo, have a dozen kids, or live on a farm, I can write those things too, using my imagination to experience what I doesn't fit into my own life.
As writers, we aren't confined to our own lives. That experience of walking in someone else's world is a gift we give our readers, but most of all, it's a gift we give ourselves.
6 hours ago