HAPPY INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP DAY!
My answer: Never Say Die! Quitting is Not an Option.
This may sound extreme or like the titles to a Bond Film and a Motivational Ted Talk, respectively.
Just hear me out.
I have "quit" writing for readers in the past. I have almost quit writing, but I couldn't really quit it. I kept finding myself scribbling out stories and poems on bits of paper, in my journal (note, I did give up my journal once, and I hope you did not interact with me then, it wasn't pretty), and well, everywhere. I couldn't stop thinking of ideas for stories.
Even if all goes badly with my books, even if no agent ever is interested in any of my queries, even if I never go truly hybrid (I do have a novella out with a small press so I am partially hybrid), even if I stopped indie-publishing any of my books, stopped sending out poems and short stories, etc., I would keep writing for me. Even if I get arthritis, lose the sense of touch and my ability to type, even if I go blind, I will keep writing and creating stories via talk-to-text or other means. Even if my audience consists of me and God, I will keep writing. This is what it means to me to be a writer. I will always come up with stories. I will always want to create them and write them. Story creation is simply a part of who I am.
So, since quitting is not an option - I used to think it was, but now I know better - the question really is: what is my reason WHY?
The Why of why I write is what drives me forward and motivates me to actually put words to paper. The Why used to be amorphous. I wrote for myself primarily. But as I have written and continued to write, my reason for writing for a readership has become clearer.
The main reason I write is: to provide entertaining, thought-provoking, inspirational, and empowering fiction, poetry, and non-fiction for a primary audience of young women and men (age 11-18) and a secondary audience of adults.
If I could write for ages 1-10, I would. I admire Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit creator) and Corinne Luyken (modern picture book writer and artist), but most of my picture book ideas and attempts have not come off the way I wanted them to, so that audience isn't my primary focus.
In addition, as a Christian, I have delved deeper into why I feel so strongly about writing women characters with depth and strength - both as protagonists and secondary characters. I share that reason on my author page now since it is so important to me.
Now, I wish I could put my reason "why" in saleable language. I've worked on it a few times. I'm still working on it, and some day maybe I will have my platform/brand named in concise, beautiful words.
What's Your Reason Why? What drives your writing life?