I guess of all the questions I get asked, this is the most common. My standard answer is I just love to write. I always have. And I'm a voracious reader. While I have an eclectic taste in genres I read (I'll read anything that sparks my interest), I'm a romantic at heart and write the kind of stories I like to read. I prefer a particular pace, with a blend of action, dialogue, suspense and romance.
Essentially, writers have to write. We are compelled to. Every time an idea is jotted down, our brain rejuvenates and puts another in its place so the process continues. I cannot imagine how my life would be without my writing. The ability to pick and choose the right words from the millions floating around in our brains and mold them into a cohesive story is truly a gift to be cherished. And I do.
My brain is constantly active, playing out scenes, coming up with new twists to my current WIP or just playing my favorite game...what if. What if this happened instead of that. What if she went here instead of there. What if it ended this way instead of that. Aside from being a fun diversion, it exercises the mind, gets the creative juices flowing and helps me move forward when I get I stumped. And all writers get stumped on occasion, so we have to find ways to get un-stumped. What if is how I do it.
Literally anything can spark an idea for a story. I was in the doctor's office recently and a lady walked in with this bright red scarf around her neck. Immediately, the what-if game started. What if red triggered an episode for someone? What if red reminded that guy in the corner of someone he loved and lost? What if she reminded that other guy of someone he didn't like? And on and on.
My husband is accustomed to my breakaways from reality. He calls it conversations with my imaginary friends, which basically is what it boils down to. I can't help it. Really, I can't. I have a very active and creative mind. I like to make things. I love to cook and come up with different recipes. When I'm eating out and find something I really like, if they don't offer the recipe, I'll do my best to figure it out. I do crafts, even tried my hand at painting once. Not one of my more successful endeavors but it was fun.
And I love to color. It's very relaxing. I have several coloring books around and a gazillion different crayons, pens and pencils. Before I retired, I traveled extensively for work. Consequently, I had lots of down time at airports. I was stuck in Chicago once for six hours before they finally canceled our flight. After a hour or so, I dug out my crayons and coloring book and went to work. This was before the really cool grown up coloring books of today, so my options were limited to animals and cartoon characters. Anyway, I'm coloring away and this man plops down beside me, mumbling under his breath about yet another delay. I offered him a page and he snarled at me. I told him it was delightfully therapeutic, and he should try it. He snarled again. About that time, they told us our flight was delayed yet again. He heaved a heavy sigh and said, "I'll take that page now."
So, the short answer is, I love to write. It's fun. It makes the reader feel something. It provides a creative outlet for all this stuff in my head, and gives my imaginary friends their own voice.