This is something I have been debating lately and it is kind of a long debate. Because there are many facets to this question. The first, and most obvious, is the very literal question at hand, and the answer is fairly simple. I write because I have all these ideas that bounce around inside of me, desperate to get free and if I do not write them down I truly believe that they would drive me mad. It is cathartic, it is a release. The thrill of creating something without the morning sickness that plagued me all through my pregnancy.
The next deeper version of the question would be why do I write and publish? This becomes a bit more complicated. I think it comes down to the old adage, if a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound? I put so much energy into creating this remarkable world, and extraordinary characters (at least to me) of course I want to share it with everyone I meet. Much like I want to share great books I read, movies I have seen, etc. I am not content just to create, I need it out there in the world.
Which leads to the last question I must ask. Why do I spend hours each week working on writing, promotion, spend money advertising, and pushing to be seen and known as a writer? It certainly isn't for the money (I know,I just did my taxes for the third year in a row and my writing "hobby" costs more than any of my husband's hobbies.) If it is for vanity, that is a fail as well. Yes, I have enjoyed some great reviews, but I still wallow in anonymity. I am pushing the boulder up hill with no idea how far I still have to go to reach the mountain peak.
And yet, I still manage to convince my family to bear with me on this crazy ride, pushing for more money for marketing, wondering if I can hire a publicist, should I hire a marketing professional, how can I afford to go on tour, and a dozen other thoughts on promotion that aren't practical given how little I am selling.
Which again leads me back to the question: Why do I write? Why do I keep fighting this uphill battle? Why do I keep taking 15-20 hours a week away from my family, chores, health and life? Why do I keep "investing" (yes, I use this term ironically) money into these projects? What is my ultimate goal?
Well, my ultimate goal is to write. I write to be read. Is everything else worth it? That is still up for debate.