I recently wrote another book (Al Ravien's Night) released it to the world, then fell flat on my face into my pillow, and wondered why I did it again. Why create a story, push myself into characters and the world, put it into the world, just to have it be ignored?
Why the endless cycle of eager inspiration, deep involvement, countless hours pouring over the page and laptop? Why the editing sessions, marketing, money into promos and spreading of what I've done, only to be met with the sound of silence? Why do I invest myself into creation? What does it do?
If I thought my friends to be readers, I might say, "To amuse those I love." Only a handful have read my work, though, so that would be a lie. To be sure, those who do are fans, are dear to me, and I thank them. But is it enough when so many others don't read beyond a facebook post? When those who do read are swamped with a deluge of books they simply cannot wade through, is it enough?
I don't know. I don't know if it's enough to create another story, maybe read by a handful, maybe read by none. But I think I do know why I do it, despite the inevitable depression it births: I love my characters, the worlds they live in, and the things that come about in their lives. I live their ups and downs with them and I treasure our time together. In other words, I am crazy. I'm not saying that facetiously. I am, in fact, not sane.I do not know what normal people feel like, why they do the things they do or why the don't do others. I only know my characters, people whose motives and lives I know from the start. Them, I understand.
And I only know me, and creating stories makes up a large part of who I am, and who I will always be. I will threaten to throw the habit away, when my anger over the silence feels to heavy, but I will be lying.
I will start awake with a plot point for that book that hit a brick wall. I will talk to my characters, animatedly, in the car, scaring the people I pass with the passion of an argument seemingly with myself. I will delve my heart into lives not real, but important to me in a way I cannot explain. And I will throw myself against my pillow, when I meet the shrugs, and wonder why I did it again.
Weeks later, I will re-meet a character, an old friend, and I will be consumed. We love the things we love. We will often act stupidly or impetuously for them. Whether we draw, paint, sing, celebrate...it is something we do not for the sense of it. The sensibility is what counts, what draws us in. It's what keeps me going. I have to remember that, every time.
I am not writing to be heard by millions, to make money or even to make friends. I am writing for the love of it. For me, that love has no end. And so, I pick up my head, my laptop and begin all over again.
H.M. Jones is the author of the NIEA finalist, B.R.A.G medallion dark fantasy, Monochrome, and its prequel, Fade to Blue. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, kids, cat, dog and chickens. She spends most of her spare time writing, reading, running or getting tattooed. You can visit her website at www.hmjones.net. Al Ravien's Night is her newest release, and she had too much fun writing it.
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.