Two weeks ago Josh Palmatier had a blog entry asking why people write (with a follow up). For me it's very simple.
(said in Bart Simpson voice) Can't sleep, voices will eat me.
There are voices in my head. Sometimes it's my voice, or the subconscious with a wake-up call, sometimes it's the Muse blowing across the antenna wires in my brain, occasionally it's that trickster up to his games, and then there are the very rare "others." They feel like the Muse, but they sound different. It was because of one of those that I started writing.
Most writers hear voices (and the ones who say they don't are lying, that's my guess). Most rationalize them (and I could probably do the same to all the above), safely label them and put them on the shelf. And in that sterile field of a mind, with the ground thoroughly salted, they begin to write.
Bleh. Not for me. Give me the voices, give me my Muse, give me the cacophony. I want weeds to grow in my mind, I want butterflies and milk weed spores, mushrooms and wild grasses. I don't want inorganic fertilizer, I want a rich humus to grow my ideas. I write because it is what I do, and I should have fun. Follow your bliss Joseph Campbell said. That's what the myths told us. Do what you love and the money will follow.
And I'm not the only one. (via Matt Staggs) Ken Scholes talks about the voices and how to write a short story.