This is from a response I just added to the Story club's discussion, "Why Do You Write Fiction?": I write fiction and nonfiction because I don't feel whole if I'm not doing some form of creative writing. I think, except for stories I've shaped for live storytelling, the short pieces of fiction I've written haven't fully succeeded, whereas some of the nonfiction I've written has been powerful. Right now, the fiction I write seems to be more of a mental exercise than anything else. There has to be some underlying purpose or message to propel the piece, to make it meaningful for me to pull it off, you know, for the piece to sing and make me, and readers, go, ahhh. Often, as Lazarus brought up, the message is not expressly stated. I love it, whether I'm working on fiction or nonfiction, when I feel that sense of purpose in my bones. At times like that, I can overcome all kinds of obstacles to keep working, but when the purpose isn't there, oh, that's difficult.