Welcome! Today is: January 7, 2014. As of today you only have to write an average of 140 words per day to complete a 50,000 word novel this year. Good Luck!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why I Write

What is So Exciting about being a writer that there are so many people who aspire to write a book one day? We smell somewhat funny, our fingers hurt, a lot of us drink, and you practically have to take a vow of poverty if you decide to be one full time. So what is it?

Actually, other than the finger thing, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. When I was thirteen-years-old, my family moved to a small farm in Arkansas. I went from living in Kent, Washington with views of Mount Rainer and the Cascade Mountains from my bedroom window to a farm on top of a mountain. I moved from a subdivision that included a park for all of us local kids to a house where my nearest neighbor lived a mile away...and they were 180 years old.

I did not take the move well.

Still, I’d always been a bookworm. I fell in love with reading at a very young age and my parents always encouraged us to read whatever we wanted from their considerable library of books. Shortly after school started that year, I decided to take my angst out in writing. I started a book about how my teenage protagonist had parents who hated her and moved her from her lovely, amazing home, to a farm in Arkansas. Banished I think is the word I used. Eighty-six pages in, my book was complete.

OHMYFREAKINGOD, I never felt so proud of anything before in my entire life. A short life, granted, but mine. I was hooked from that moment and it only took me nineteen years to make my first sale. I gave up writing for a number of those years as I pursued life and other things, but in the back of my mind I always believed one day I would be a writer.

We all have stories to tell. Every single one of us. The reason so many want to write is because watching something from deep down inside of us come to life on paper is one of the greatest feelings in this world. Yes, it can be frustrating at times, and yes, sometimes I just want to stop and do Anything else with my life but there truly is no greater feeling than writing the words The End after spilling my heart and soul onto the page.

So here is my question, folks: What is your story? What is it that makes you want to write?
Mary Duncanson, who sometimes writes as Mary Malcolm, lives in North Texas with a menagerie of animals and roommates. She is currently looking to adopt a husband, preferably housebroken, preferably as silly as her. When she’s not on Facebook goofing around, she’s talking to the characters in her head and hoping they talk back. When she’s not doing all that, she can be found wandering around Central Market with a happy, drooly foodie look on her face. Do not judge her, it is her Mecca.
Mary’s been writing since she was a teenager, though she spent quite a few years studying toward becoming a doctor before she realized she wanted to be a full-time author. Unfortunately, the people who own her student loans still want to be paid for the years they supported her medical dreams.
She lives on a steady diet of coffee and chocolate and feels, like Eleanor Roosevelt, that people should believe in the beauty of their dreams. Also, that people should ignore the word “should” because really, it’s kind of a judgmental word. Mary dreams of one day living as a full-time, well-paid novelist (hint, hint) and also of traveling to Chile to pay homage to her soul mate, Pablo Neruda.



  1. Hi Mary,

    Love your post and your encouragement to finish a book in 2014!

    I write because I can...because I started down this road and I'm not ready to get off...because folks encourage me...but they would probably encourage me if I took up cross country skiing in Florida.

    Hugs and blessings to you in 2014!

  2. I write because I can't stop asking the question, "What if ..."
    I write paranormal romance and the "What if ..." question sparks my imagination and that imaginative spark forces me to answer that question:
    I came up with a short story idea when in the pitch black night of a Girl Scout campout, I wondered ... What if a bear suddenly approached this cabin out of the dark?
    I swore I'd never write a story about a vampire, because it seemed a cliché for my genre. I sat in my yard one day, picking weeds, and wondered, "What if a woman became a vampire because she needed the immortality to care for her disabled child?" I started writing Daywalker that very evening.
    "What if ...?" is a remarkable question ... and it's one I answer every day, every time I write.

  3. Hi Mary!
    I did not know you were from the Northwest--I thought you were an Arky! I've been an avid reader my whole life. I think part of that stems from my family moving every 4-5 years. I got to experience some great places and met some fabulous people, but that doesn't mean the moves were easy. Every time we headed for a new location, the first person I met was in a book. Fictional characters always helped the transition. When my mom was in the hospital dying, I struggled with my lack of ability to do anything for her. I found Janet E's book in the gift shop. She made me laugh at the lowest point of my life and I realized that her books gave her the power to do something when nothing could be done. Laughter in tragedy is one of the greatest gifts you can give. How could I not want to share that gift?

  4. I'm a Cajun. That might not mean much to someone outside of my little corner of southwest Louisiana. Cajuns raise their children on stories. They tell ballads in their folk music. They invent mischievous half-alligator men who play tricks on the fishermen. They gather and tell stories to each other that have been told a hundred times, often to each other already.
    This love of storytelling is so second nature that I started writing my own stories when I was seven. I thought it was my birthright, after all. My grandmother won a Liars, Braggarts and Storytellers Award when I was young, and I wanted to be just like her.
    "I write because..." sounds so funny to me, because I don't want a reason to write. I don't "sing because" anything, nor do I "drink because" or "dance because." Nothing could ever keep me from setting stories to paper, or singing loudly in the car when no one is looking, or finishing off a perfectly quiet evening with a glass of wine and the bones of a new story.