All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
Writing, for me, has always been a selfish endeavor. I write to amuse me. I write because it gives me an outlet for my time, energy, and creativity. I choose when I put pen to paper. I choose what my characters say and do. I hold the reins and what I write goes.
But there’s more to writing than the writer. There’s the audience. They read to be amused. They read because its how they want time spent. They choose what stories they want to read. They hold the reins and at the end of the story, they determine if they’ve been satisfied.
The more I take writing as a craft seriously, the more I find the writer in me become selfless. Sure, I write because its what I choose to do and I enjoy it, but I want readers to be swept up in the story. I want them to see the scene and to relate to the characters. The story has to be “truer than if [it] really happened.”
Oh, Mr. Hemingway, you hit it right on the nail. If only it were that easy to write a story that belongs not just to me, but to everyone who reads it.