My "Why."

I think that motivation is important. Of course, it's important to have it in the first place. This is especially true when doing something as time consuming and often frustrating as writing a novel and pursuing publication. But. also, I think its important to remind myself exactly what my motivation is. So, that is the subject of today's post. I want to be as specific as possible so this post is going to be broken up into four different parts.

Why I Write:

I have this sticker on my laptop that says "Write Until the World Makes Sense." I think that totally explains it but I am also not good at being brief. Honestly, though, I've always found myself drawn to writing about things I find difficult to wrap my head around. I like making sense of them, as much as I can, and then sharing that with other people. I also love the escape that writing provides. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day and losing myself in a story, than having total control over the scenes and settings and characters. In a world that's so uncertain, we cling to all the certainty we can find, I think.

Why I Write Historical Fiction:

I have loved historical fiction as long as I can remember. The first thing I can ever remember writing was historical fiction. Most of what I read is historical fiction. I think there is so much to learn from the past, so much to admire and bring with us to the present and so many cautionary tales, too.

Why Bonnie Parker?

I love Faye Dunaway. I loved Mommie Dearest, first, but I watched Bonnie and Clyde and found it absolutely iconic. I also saw a regional production of the musical a few years back. It was incredible. So, I have had a vague familiarity with the story for a while. But, really, it all started when I happened upon Karen Blumenthal's young adult biography about Bonnie and Clyde. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say, I looked down and it seemed to jump out at me. I checked it out, started reading it that night, and I remember telling a friend I was fairly sure I'd found my next protagonist. I realized pretty quickly that there was so much I didn't know, even though I had seen two pieces of media based on Bonnie's life. I wanted to figure her out. I wanted to tell her story with all the honesty I could. I spent the rest of March researching, reading and watching everything I could get my hands on. In April, I began writing the first draft. I finished it at the end of that month. Almost exactly a year later, I got an agent.

Why Eva Peron?

In the summer of 2013, I first started listening to the musical Evita. The song "Oh, What a Circus," came on one of my Broadway-related Pandora stations. Even before the song ended, I was opening Wikipedia and searching up Eva Peron. I went on to listen to the rest of the musical and I've seen two production of it. The discrepancy between the musical's lyrics and the truth was pretty astounding to me. This project first started as a (terrible) play I wrote for a creative writing course my freshman year of college. It was the first experience I had with researching a topic and then making a piece of fiction out of that research. I just felt this really strong desire to tell this woman's story. It seemed to me that everyone was so quick to assume things; she is either entirely good or entirely bad, either totally altruistic or unspeakably selfish. The musical, in particular, doesn't give the character of Eva the chance to be as complex as the historical figure truly was. But, I'm not afraid of complexity. The real why, if I am being honest, is that I am absolutely loving uncovering as much as I can and telling this story.

So, #WritingCommunity, what is your why?