Writing is its own reward

One year as a Christmas gift to my critique partners, I selected several quotes about writing and had them printed on business card-sized paper for them. I, of course, kept a set for myself and have them on a stand on my desk, rotating them every so often.

Over the next few weeks, I will share which ones I chose and why. The first, and probably my favorite, is a quote by Henry Miller (1891-1980), author of, among other popular books, Tropic of Cancer (1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939).

His quote is: “Writing is its own reward.”

I have had a modicum of success as a writer since I first began publishing books eighteen years ago. One of my earliest goals was to publish one book before I died. I have published six. Some of them received awards, and I continue to earn royalties and income from all of them. None were on the best-seller list and if my motivation had been wealth and fame, I would have quit writing years ago.

The act of writing itself keeps me writing. The creative act sustains my passion. Because to be a writer, you must have passion for the craft, for every aspect of writing: grammar, rhetoric, sentence structure, storytelling, plot, character, setting, description, and all the ways they complement each other.

Writing a good novel, screenplay, or nonfiction book is like putting together a puzzle or creating a tapestry. It engages the mind, emotions, heart and soul.

For those who are not professional writers, writing can be a salve that helps soothe wounds. It can also help you discover what you actually believe. Engaging your mind and heart in the act of writing is actually nothing short of miraculous.

“Writing is (truly) its own reward.”