"I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still." -- Sylvia Plath
Why do you write/act/sing/paint/do whatever it is you love to do? Because it brings you more joy than any other activity? I hope so. Not for any expectant fame and fortune. Because it may be a good few years before you get any external thing from it. And, even then, it'll always be the work itself that's the source of true happiness.
I write to say what's in my heart and soul, I write because I must, because, for me, me it's the best and most beautiful medium for self-expression there is. I had my first book published when I was 31, which is pretty young really, and only after I'd written a lot of other books that will -- probably quite rightly -- never see the light of day. I was a waitress for seven years before that first publication and I continued waitressing for another three years until I could write full-time. Of course, all those years, I never knew if I'd ever be published at all.
I'll admit, I always wanted to be published. And I'm happy that my new book, Dress Shop of Dreams, has just been published. So, even though the writing is THE thing, I did want it all. My grandmother is a pure artist -- a painter -- who painted every day of her life (until she went blind) but never exhibited. I've often asked her why not but she always gives the same answer, that she painted purely for herself and never cared what! the rest of the world thought. She's my hero. I do care but luckily, if this whole publishing thing doesn't work out, I'll always have the words and the joy they bring me.