I've had five books for kids published, and well over a hundred of my articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies, but I never expect to become a best-selling author and make a fortune with my writing.
So why don't I just give up and stop writing?
Because I can't not write.
I've loved books since I was a toddler and my parents read to me at bedtime. Since I learned to read in First Grade I've devoured books. If I could count all the books I've read in my life the number would probably be between 17 and 18,000.
For most of my life I've averaged five or six books a week, mostly those written for middle grade kids and, since that genre became available, some for young adults. Once in a while I even read books intended for grown-ups. That's not even considering all the picture books I read as a kid and to my own children and students.
And, of course, I've read newspapers nearly every day, magazines every week or two, and countless articles and posts on the internet.
Reading has given me so much I'm compelled to give back some of what I've gained by writing things for others to read.
But that's only one of the reasons why I write.
When I was a kid my mother thought I had too much imagination, and my imagination is still active today. How can I not share some of the ideas that come from asking, "What if...?" and exploring possibilities in my mind?
Even non-fiction articles often originate from wondering about something and searching to find out the answers.
If I ever stop writing I'll have to turn into somebody else. I hope that never happens.