I was very interested in the response to my post of Monday, in which I asked people why they did what they did. Most of the respondents--almost all writers--said pretty much the same thing.
Because I have to. Because the stories come and I have to write them. Because it's part of my identity, who I am and I can't imagine not doing it.
While this is a completely valid reason (some would say the only valid reason) to write, I find myself wondering....How do you know if that's true? How do you know if you're doing it for purely internal reasons or not?
So now I have a question for all you wonderful writer types. A mythical creature comes to you and offer you two choices. You must pick one to be true for the rest of your life.
1. You will never lack for words. Writing will always be a joy, and plots and characters will always come when called. Writer's block will be an unpleasant myth, and everything you love about the act of writing will stay will you for the rest of your life.
BUT, no one will ever publish what you've written, and no one but your close friends and family will ever know your work.
2. You will achieve literary success. Anything you dream--NYT bestsellerdom, excellent literary reviews, awards--anything you want will be yours for the taking. You will make enough money to write full time, and never have to do anything else for the rest of your life.
BUT, writing will always be difficult. You will suffer writer's block and intense periods of dryness. Even at its best writing will be mechanical, like fixing a drainpipe. You will find satisfaction in your work, but never again know the delerious joy of creation.
Which would you choose?