Someone recently asked me the age-old question "why do you spend so much time on your writing and publishing projects if you almost never make any money and it seems to pain you so much that other people aren't responding the way you want them to?"
The easiest thing in the world would have been to given the cliched answer that I do it because it's my passion and I love it.
But I didn't. Because it wasn't the first answer that came to mind, and because I wanted to think about it myself, not because the question made me doubt my commitment, but because I wanted to be able to explain it in a way that would make more sense than just saying "Because I love it."
The reason I haven't really thought about it is because it's just instinctual to me. I realize I'm not using the word "instinctual" correctly here, but what I mean is I've never had any choice about finding a way to get ink on paper and try and convince other people to read it. The first time I had access to a copier I printed a satirical religious tract concerning my friends and was suspended from school for a week. Nothing about that is original in any way, it's just part of the natural progression.
As far as love, everything I love falters, fails, sputters, and eventually dies. I champion the losing cause almost unfailingly, so I've never been surprised that my efforts have largely been a failure. But I'm no fatalist, trust me. If I knew the formula to sell humanity some cheap bauble and pass it off as high art I'd do it, and I whistle all the way to and from the bank. The fact is I don't know how to do that, either.
All I really know how to do is what I do do. And I'm 100% faithful to myself in that endeavor. That has a value, and imbues a satisfaction into one's daily thoughts and tasks that has no monetary value. I say what I say. I have bowed down or knuckled under to none. Ever.
Anyway, that's the end of this post. I was going to go on for a long time, but the short version is I told her I do it because I love it.
And I do.