This afternoon, I met with my editor, Elizabeth Marino, who is taking a look-see at the fourth version of "La Bruja del Barrio Loco"; you can read the second draft at that link above. (And I totally forgot to call my sociologist friend and that was one of my writing goals for the day. Too many meetings.) Anyway, while we were breaking bread, Elizabeth asked me why I was writing. This question really made me pause and ponder.
To be sure, my motives for writing have changed.
Yeah, I went through that phase where I was obsessed with being published and wanted to get famous, but that was and is bullshit. Here is what I told her below.
She asked, "Why do you write? Why do you write? What do you hope to get out of it?"
Short Answer: Pure Love. (That was the answer I gave at the end.)
Long Answer: I love to write. This is not how I make my bread. I am not going to have to peddle books to make a living or pay rent. (Though, I will for the sheer pleasure of meeting people.)
Besides, I teach creative writing, and I can teach better if I write. For students who are writing a novel, I have a basis of explanation for them. Something based in real life.
And, I hit it hard every day. That has not been easy for me with my small kids and busy schedule, but I get up early to do it every day. I get up at 1a.m., 2a.m., 3a.m. and just write.
I want my work to go out there. (I point to the world.)
This is not a career move for me. I love where I work and am already tenured.
It’s Pure Love for me.
She also asked if it was a career move or a venue to teach other classes, and it's not, because I am vetted to teach all the composition courses at my college.
We don't have that departmental competition, some higher-ed institutions do where there are hoarders of courses, usually men or senior faculty. In fact, I am really looking forward to teaching Creative Writing this summer. I didn't have to fight anybody for that choice.
So, that's me. Why do you write?
Keep writing, regardless of your motives. #Resist
Dr. Jesú Estrada,