Four Weeks. Four Mondays. Four Authors. Why Do I Write is a series of thoughts written by indie authors I read, like and admire.
Allie Burke is a fellow book critic I first read during my Geeks Unleashed days. I liked her words, so I decided to read more. She writes smart Young Adult stories, which is good, because 1) the world needs it, 2)I love it. Paper Souls, her latest effort is painfully honest and beautiful and an essential part of every book shelf on Earth. Here’s why Allie writes. Enjoy, and thanks Ms Burke.
I write to make money.
I am a terrible person. All of my writer friends are going to kill me.
But it’s true, right? Sort of?
My first book, Violet Midnight, was written because I was bored. I was bored of being married and I was bored of books. There was no balance between Young Adult and Contemporary Romance and I was really bored.
So I wrote a book. I’d read hundreds of them, so it couldn’t be that hard, right? I hadn’t ever written anything except for grocery lists, but if it was a botched effort, whatever. It was something to do. It took me a little less than a year to get a first draft down and a little more than another year to edit, proof, design a cover, and get it out in the world in an independent fashion, but I did it. And I wrote another one and another one after that.
I’ve met so many people since then and have been blessed with riches of talented, artistic friends. Twitter was the place to be for writers five years ago, and the first person I met who introduced me to the next person there was to know basically brought me where I am today. Since my debut, writing books has always and will always be my passion, but that passion for writing has brought me so much more than that. Because of the connections I’ve made I’ve been lucky enough to get involved with Geeks Unleashed, Stigma Fighters, Booktrope, and so much more, leading me to a writing world on a completely different level. Don’t get me wrong, when I feel it is a good time to get a literary novel out there (I have one published), there is no other feeling, but the genre works I do are, mostly, for money. Art is expression and living is not being homeless. I would have never copped to this specific revelation two years ago or even six months ago, but if any of us ever want to do what we love, we have to find an organic way to get paid for it.
Like my fiction writing, the blogs, articles, and stories I write for various entities have morphed me as a writer over the years, and I have found that I enjoy writing them most. I don’t currently get paid for most of that stuff, but it’s really a no-brainer. Literary or not, I have always been the kind of artistic writer who leaves the story up to the reader to figure out, which is a huge risk in today’s culture of The Rules and Regulations of a Successful Book. There are high-volume bloggers out there that won’t even read a book if it’s not exactly what they want, let alone review it. The things that I do with literature are very risky, and I do the exact same things with my blogs. The difference is that no one reviews blogs, really. I mean, I guess someone could comment on a piece I write with ‘you suck’, but they haven’t done that yet, and I don’t see that happening any time soon. Non-fiction ‘long reads’ are the ultimate artistic expression for me, because they don’t have to be categorized or meet any specific set of standards a reader may have. No one is really going to get pissed off if a blog goes a certain way (unless it’s super offensive), because who cares? They didn’t pay for it. There is no pressure involved when expressing myself on my own space. There is no editor to tell me I have to write this way or that. I can just be me. And that is the difference between writing for art and writing for money. The balance we seek is to do both.
The ultimate answer to the question is that I write for the people who embrace the ability to think for themselves. Specifically, me. And sometimes I write for money.
Allie Burke is an An American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California, who writes books she can’t find in the bookstore.
Visit Allie at http://wordsbyallieburke.com.