Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I Write: Michelle Pickett

People have many reasons for writing. Some want fame, fortune, recognition. Some write for relaxation, others for the excitement of living vicariously through their characters. Here are some of the reasons I write:

Challenge. I read a statistic that ninety-percent of Americans want to write a novel. Only ten-percent of us do. Even less will get published. I took that as a challenge. I want to be in that ten-percent and I definitely want to be one of the few that get published.

One day I was cleaning out old files on my computer when I found a story I'd started writing a year or so before. I read the first few pages and thought it was pretty good (it isn't) so I challenged myself to finish it. Well, I failed. The file is still taking up space on my computer. But I did complete part of the challenge. I started a new story and finished it.

Voices. Do you hear voices? At the risk of being thrown in a padded cell, I admit I do. They tell me to write, to tell their story. If I don't, they get louder and more insistent until I do. The second reason I write is because the characters living in my head tell me to. I have the overwhelming urge to get their story down on paper. They keep me focused, engaged, excited about writing. I enjoy playing with my imaginary friends.

Relax. Writing calms me. When the kids are screaming, the bills are calling and the husband is in a mood, I escape into another world through writing. Writing calms my frayed nerves and helps me rejuvenate. Do you remember the old Calgon commercials?  "Calgon take me away," was the slogan. Well, writing takes me away to a world where I can relax…by killing off a few characters.

Sparkly Vampires. Let's face it. We all want a little recognition for what we do - maybe just a little fame, maybe just a little fortune. Otherwise we wouldn't submit our novels to agents and publishers. Do I wish I wrote Twilight? Of course I do. I wish I thought of sparkly vampires first, got a four book deal, five movies and tons of merchandising. But we all can't be Stephenie Meyer, nor should we want to be. Books would be boring if we all wrote the same thing. We need new voices. We need new stories. And that's one reason I write: because I'm not Stephenie Meyer and I never will be. I bring a new voice, hopefully one readers like, because a small part of me wants a little piece of that fame. We all do on some level.

Dream. It's my dream. Not to get published, although that's part of it. Not to have people tell me how great my books are, although it feels good when they do. Not to have fame and fortune, although I've already established I think getting paid for doing something I love would be great. I write to fulfill my dreams of being able to hold a manuscript in my hand and know I created it. I did this.

Kids. The most important reason I write is my kids. I have four. They are the reason I forced myself to finish that first novel when I felt like throwing it against the wall and pulling my hair out strand by strand. They were watching. They knew I'd challenged myself to finish and I wanted to show my kids that even though we only make a commitment to ourselves – maybe especially commitments made to ourselves - we should follow through, we should finish, and we can if we work hard. I want my kids to know that they can do anything or be anything if they set their minds to it and work hard. I hope when my children look at me they don't see that my novel got a publishing deal, they don't see the royalties I may earn, they don't see the recognition I may receive. Instead they see that mommy set a goal, she worked hard and completed it.

That's why I write. 

Michelle was born and raised in Michigan. She has been an avid reader since a young child. She began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Deciding sitting in a cubical all day was cruel and unusual punishment, she decided to do what she really wanted to--share her passion for reading and writing with others. She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her husband, four children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a very grumpy cockatiel. Her debut YA novel PODs will be released June 2013 with Spencer Hill Press. 

Connect with Michelle on her website, blog, and twitter

Learn more about PODs on Goodreads. (and Danielle read it--it's really, really good) 

And don't forget to enter to win a ton of amazing prizes! ONE person will win everything listed--so the more you enter, comment, tweet, the better your chances. (International entries are welcome to enter, but please note that you may not receive every prize listed Prizes are coming from various locations/publishers.)

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  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

    PODs June 4, 2013

  2. Great post! And I love your reasons for writing. They look a lot like mine (even the voices one :) )!!

  3. Fabulous post, Michelle. I can identify with all your reasons, especially the one about fulfilling one's own dreams and sense of achievement. 100% with you in showing your kids that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard and stick at it - I'm all for people following their passion. :) Very inspiring!

    Jane x

  4. I'm late as usual! Great interview, Michelle!

  5. Hi, Michelle

    I also write to escape. I agree, it's wonderful to calm your nerves by getting into another world, be someone else, let your hair down and just be you in your characters.

    Great post.