I suppose a very simple answer to that question is that I enjoy the creation. I am not blessed with visually artistic skills and I am only a moderately capable musician. However, albeit with much practice, I can write. I can sit for hours on end writing if I have a good story going and I’m on a roll. Just as some can watch TV or play video games, I write.
I enjoy the creation process and seeing how my characters grow. I used to say that writing is perhaps the closest thing to God that a human can achieve. Today I would be far more inclined to say that is only partially true. I may have created my own little world with its own plotline and some unique characters, but I often find myself not entirely in control. Frequently, characters take on a life of their own and I find myself writing at their direction, rather than my own. It is a bit hard to explain, but it is an experience that I have had numerous times and have come to enjoy.
I have created a lot of stories and characters in my lifetime. To be honest, most of them have not made it very far. Characters in particular are rather fickle, but there are survivors. There is one character I have created that I both love and hate for who she is; if I had to deal with her in real life, I would undoubtedly be frustrated to no end. Then again, as I have told Dranik (a real life friend who has read some of this character’s stories), if my readers hate her, then I have done my job.
My enjoyment at creating a story and characters is what has led me to try and help others develop their stories and characters. For all my positions in the Brotherhood, one that I have never gotten rid of is EP of the Test of Wisdom. Dranik and I have spent countless hours brainstorming ideas and situations for our DB and non-DB writing. The creation is easy, but putting it on paper is much harder. That is why I want to help others, and especially those people in the clan. I want people to be able to enjoy their writing, whether it is for the DB or not. You may not win any prizes, but if I can help you overcome seeing writing as a chore (got to get those participation points), then I have done something useful. One of the constant themes at my job and with my company is keeping the employees engaged in their jobs: it isn’t rocket science and things don’t change year to year, but we want people to be proud of their work and what they accomplish. And, studies have shown that employees who are engaged in their work, who take pride in it, do better and they can more readily adapt to new programs once they see it as part of the overall picture.
Likewise, when you are engaged in your writing, creating the characters, plot, and setting, you will write better. It isn’t an overnight process; no one wakes up one morning and is suddenly a great writer. But, there is continuous improvement. I have seen that in my own writing as well as my own creation of what I am writing.