As part of our Arachne 5th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve asked all of our authors to come up with a blog, that might have something to do with writing or anniversaries. Some of them responded! This one is from Joan Leotta who we published in Shortest Day, Longest Night
Why I Write!
Let me say, before we even begin, I write a variety of genres, lengths etc. I’m a journalist, business writer, author of woman’s fiction (four book historical fiction series, Legacy of Honor), author of children’s books (four are out, latest is Rosa’s Shell), essayist, short story aficionado and practitioner, and poet. Poetry is the most personal thing I write.
Why I write and why I seek publication are not exactly the same thing. I write because I am compelled to put on paper my ideas—to help me think through things, to help me understand what is in my heart. Writing is both a gift and a compulsion. I seek to publish my writing to serve others with my gift.
Even when I write something personal, confessional, and grief stricken, such as the poetry that deals with the loss of our son, if I seek to publish it, I review my work and then revise with an audience in mind. What do I want them to feel, to know? Do I want to make them suffer? No!!!! I want them to understand what grief does to a person so they can be of assistance to a person who grieves to help them in their grief by knowing others are there on the same path…
Tolstoy says that writing is a transfer of emotion form one person to another. Even when I transfer sadness, anger, I want it to lift my reader to a place of hope or at least understanding.
Writing is my gift, but it only enriches me when I share. When a piece is rejected, I feel it has not found its right audience, or is not yet ready for an audience and I revise and/or file, and send it out again.
Unlike stage work where at the end of a performance I can bask in the love of applause, writing like mine garners few appreciative letters or emails, but when it is published, I do at least know it has touched the heart of an editor! So, thank you, editors and readers for participating in my writing process by giving it audience. I write for you.