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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When They Leave Home

by Hellen Riebold


This week I have been asking myself one big question, ‘Why do I write?’

I thought I knew the answer, ‘to be published’, but this week I found out that may not be the case.

You see this week, as you may have heard, I published my first solo novel, New Earth: Beginnings, through KDP. This is the book that consumed my waking hours to such an extent that I eventually left work to give it the attention it demanded. At the time I left work I was sure this book was the be all and end all of everything. I wrote furiously for days on end, desperate to get the story out of my head and onto the paper. The closer to the end of the book I got the further engrossed in the world I was writing I became until, in the final days, I felt like I was looking back at real life through an open window. In a way completing that first draft, back in September 2012, felt a little like being set free. Oh I know I have still been heavily involved in the editing so I have read and re-read the manuscript any number of times but it never held that same power over me.

I’m not sure how I thought publishing the book would feel, and don’t get me wrong, I am delighted it is out there, prouder than anything that it is selling in modest numbers and looking forward, eagerly, to receiving my first review, but somehow it just doesn’t feel so important as I thought it would. The only thing I can compare it to is the feeling watching a child leave home. The achievement I feel is in completing the work, by publishing it I feel I have set it free to go to make its own way in the world. I, in the meantime, am far too busy with the kids left at home to watch its every mood.

Now my head is full of my current work in progress, whose first draft is close to completion, and plans for the next story in line. I am brim full of ideas for short stories and long stories, novels, series and even, thanks to Writebulb, poems. I know I will never have time to write them all down but I am really enjoying trying.

So, after a little soul-searching this week I can now say, with complete conviction, the answer to the question, ‘why do I write?’ is ‘because I can’t not.’, if you see what I mean. Now if one of my children could just make a million and come back to take care of their momma I wouldn’t turn it away but I honestly love them all just the same for the joy they give me in their growing.

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