I've read all kinds of posts from writers about why they write and what keeps them writing. There really isn't a concensus. Some write because they love it. Some feel compelled to tell their stories. Some chose it as a career and there they stay.
For some, the reward of finishing is reward enough. For others, the journey is what it's all about. Some want to be a best-seller.
I am not ashamed to say that for me, it's the reaction of my readers I want. I write because writing has always been the best mode of expression for me and because my wild imagination runs toward storytelling. (And NOT toward artsy scrapbooking so please don't invite me to those parties. I barely know which end of a glue stick to use and I'll probably just sit on the scissors and give everyone waaaay too much to talk about.)
Finishing isn't enough for me. That's like breaking a speed record with no audience, for me. What I really want is for people to read my books and tell me they couldn't put it down. I want people to stay up too late because they had to read just one more chapter.
I'm not trying to be the next Oprah book club selection or change the face of literature. I'm trying to keep you at the edge of your seat, reading.
I have three people currently reading SHADOWING FATE as I finish the (very exciting!) plot twist I threw in and race toward the (chills guaranteed) ending. None of those three read in my genre, which is kind of funny because you'd think the best beta readers for me would be urban fantasy/paranormal fans.
However, I figure if I can entertain and captivate someone who wouldn't normally be drawn to this type of story, I can sell this book.
Today, Paul (who reads sci-fi/fantasy exclusively) told me that he can't stop reading SF.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is all I need to hear for all the late hours to be worth it for me. He can't stop reading. =) For that compliment, I will be autographing his copy of SF when it hits shelves! (Oh, alright, I would have autographed it anyway but still...you get my point.)
Okay, I lied. I'd like a nice fat book deal on the table too. And I'm going to get one because I'm going to keep the editors reading just one more chapter. ;)