For most of us writing started the same way. It was an escape from or an extension of our daily lives. Something we have done since we were children purely for the pleasure of bringing worlds and characters alive. We may have started with dinosaurs in the bath, action men or Barbie, Warhammer or toy soldiers. Somewhere it started out of a desire to simply create.
Then we let somebody read our writing as we got older. And from that first moment you receive an even remotely positive reaction you crave more. You begin writing now because you enjoy the creativity and because you want people to engage with your stories. You post them to your blogs or on writers forums. Publicly you are relaxed, cool, inwardly you screen every negative comment that stabs too close to your heart and relish every view, every piece of praise.
You check your blog stats countless times through the night and set up a perfectly conservative number of timed tweets to plug that new story on twitter on the hour, every hour. However those views and comments can only appease you for so long, like a drug addict in search of your next high you start sending off to publishers. Secretly at first. Don’t want people to know about your endless amounts of rejections (take a look at JK Rowlings rejection pile for Harry Potter).
One of two things happens next. Somebody takes a gamble on you and publishes your work providing you with a whole new set of things to obsesses over, secretly, inwardly. Alternatively you see your writer contacts getting published and don’t want to get left behind so you publish The Novel yourself. Just one sale outside your family is all you want, to vindicate your view of yourself as a writer, as someone with something to say, somebody with something people are willing to pay for. Then it happens, heck you even get a couple of reviews. And then the obsession starts over again with book sales…
We all start out with modest expectations, some quite honestly just sharing their spare time hobby. No secret aspirations whatsoever. But with each little engagement, each little success, the goal posts move and expectations change. Its natural, to an extent it is healthy. Just never forget, when obsessing over all those stats why you started writing in the first place.
You enjoy it.