One easy way to be humbled is to run across the term 'greatest living author' and then do a search on it. Here I am, typing away on the porch on a summer morning, while these authors are college professors, Nobel prize winners, experimenting with sentence structure and stream of consciousness writing. How dare I even put a word on paper?
But then... I go to Amazon and look at the real reviews. People can't figure out what these authors are trying to say. That levels the playing field right there.
So, why do I write? I write to express myself, to learn about myself because there are always surprises that come out on the page, to use my imagination. I would love to be a published author, but I don't think that will ever happen. Does it matter? I'm beginning to think not. After you become published, you would always be under pressure to produce another novel, maybe not one that you would even want to write.
As I mentioned before I would rather be like Harper Lee, but I add to that list Marilynne Robinson. She has written very few novels, but they are deep and rich and thoughtful.
The reasons we write have to be part of who we are, and not just about publishing or making it big. Writing for Teachers Write is humbling, because I put my best work out there and it is basically ignored. Others put something out there that I skim over and they get 15 approving comments about how great it is. We are not all looking for the same thing.
So to make it clear for myself:
1. I write to express myself.
2. I write because it is enjoyable.
3. I can learn from writing, how to teach writing to my students.
4. Writing can capture a place in time, a memory otherwise forgotten.
5. Writing uses imagination, which is severely lacking in my life in any other way!