Edwin Peng tells provocative, cliche-busting YA stories featuring badass Princesses, Aliens, & the great state of Nebraska

Why I Love to Write Novels!

I got folks who ask me all the time: why are you writing a novel? 

What other people find strange is that I'm not the type of person they usually expect to be writing in the genre of YA novels*.  Let's face it: present day YA novel industry (think Twilight, Hunger Games, Red Queen, etc.) that's mostly populated by authors who are white, female Liberal Arts majors. Writing a novel is not the stereotypical thing for a male, Asian, engineering PhD student to do.

But, I love writing fiction, and these are my top 3 reasons why:

1. Writing is fun!

For someone who has a tiring and not that fun day job, I love the escapism that fictional writing provides.  When crafting an exciting plot or building a fictional world, you can forget about your troubles at work and tune out all the bad news in the world.

2. It's a hobby that can get you a positive return ($$) on your investment.

I understand that my chance of becoming a multimillionaire best seller is very, very slim.  There are literally thousands of competing authors who are more talented and/or luckier than me. 

But, as an amateur writer, writing is a great hobby.  It doesn't cost much (just a word processing software and a computer), and if you're get good at lit (and lucky!), you can actually make some money.

Let's put it this way: writing a novel is a far cheaper (and safer!) thing to do on a Friday night than to get drunk at a downtown bar.

3. Writing a novel is good for you even if you never get published.

It won't be a waste of time even if all I get is rejection letters** from editors and publishers.  Writing a novel teaches all sorts of valuable life skills. 

For instance, you learn what it takes to succeed with a long-term project.  Setting your goal of 500 words a day, and sticking to it until you finish your first draft teaches you self-discipline and control.

Writing all those words will also make you, well, good at writing in general!  You might be surprised to learn that writing occupies a huge amount of time for those in the STEM (that's Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) field.  All three of my graduate school advisers spend half their time writing stuff (academic papers, grant proposals, etc.).  I found myself writing better in my day job ever since I took up novel writing as a hobby.


Now that I shared my reasons for writing, what about you?  Are you working on your own novels or other fictional stories?  Why do you love to write?

*BTW, I hate how the publishing industry insists on pigeonholing every novel and author into tight confines of genres.

**It gets really cold here in Nebraska, so I still get value from these letters as kindling for my fireplace.


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