Not in an unkind way, they were just interested.
And I thought about it, and didn't give a very complete answer because it was late and I was very tired.
But, because there are times when I've forgotten, I thought I should put down a few of the reasons here, so I can remind myself why I do this.
Because I couldn't work a 9-5 job. Actually scratch that. Because true though it is, it's not about the 9-5. I couldn't work a job which didn't feel like an adventure. That didn't feel like fun most of the time. And though writing is hard graft, it doesn't feel like it when I'm doing it. I write because I get to live in a world of dragons and adventures and magic, with every emotion that ever was writ larger than life and I get to call that a job.
Because I'd like to think I'm good at it. I can turn my hand to a lot of things, but finding the right word in the right situation is something I've always been able to do. Again, I'm not saying I don't have to work at it, but I have a lot of natural talent in this area to build on. I don't want to let that go to waste.
Because I always have. There has never been a time when I have not been making up stories in my head. I couldn't stop if I tried, and I don't want to. I love writing, but more than that, I have to write. And if I can con the world into paying me for doing something that I can't stop doing in the first place, I'll do it.
Because I want to be loved. I want to be appreciated for something that I do. I want to make people happy, to entertain them. To make them like me, or at least the things I can make.
But most importantly of all;
Because books have got me through some of the worst times of my life and brought further joy to some of the best. Good Art - whether it be written or performed or hanging on the wall - can keep people going. Can speak to them in ways that nothing else in the world can. I can read words written by someone long dead and see myself in them, know I am thinking and feeling the same things that they did once. Art is a reminder of our common humanity; in a vast, scary world it is a voice in the darkness saying "You are not alone."
I want to do that. I want to be the person creating the art that gets people through. That makes them laugh, that makes them cry - maybe even that makes them think. I want to leave my mark on the world, and think that in generations to come, someone else might read something I've written and wonder at the fact that they're feeling exactly the same thing. I don't kid myself that what I have to say is unique and special and profound - actually it's the opposite. It's the very fact that it's not unique which makes it important. I want to reach people and say "You are not alone".