Why on earth did I decide to become a writer?
An independently published writer at that? I knew that writing involved long hours of seclusion from the human race, devoid of basic human warmth, locked in the recesses of my mind, bereft of reality – world building, crying over non existent characters, yelling at my computer screen, flinging my windows open to scream at the guy mowing the lawn and disturbing the hand of god musing through me.
And, as an independent author/writer the weight of an elephant is added to my scheduling – tweeting, blogging, listening to podcasts, following other authors, learning new website building tactics, wrestling with Canva, Amazon Author Pages, KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), learning to film and live broadcast myself – the list goes on.
Plus my day job (enough said about that).
So why did I decide to become a writer? The truth is I didn’t choose.
I Write Therefore I Am
Like many before me and around me in the wider writing community, I write, therefore I am.
I am not alone either. Check out what Lily MacKenzie has to say.
Ideas constantly slew around my brain for characters, plots, scenes, ideas, sentences – even the barest mote of an idea can precipitate a concatenation of events that eventually leads to rushed scribbling or typing lest I lose the essence of it.
Writing, Writing, Always Writing
At 13 years of age, I wrote a ten-page action-adventure set in a futuristic western and got top marks for it.
At 18 I quit my job and spent a year writing a long, moaning novel focused on the concept of what I then named, “BRINKING;” the concept being that of teenager who constantly felt themselves always on the brink of going mad in a world where all they were raised to believe in was crumbling around them.
My dad was not impressed.
‘Shane, when are you getting a job?’
‘I am going to be a writer.’
‘Are you making money?’
‘Get a job.’
‘You are using my electricity. How much electricity does that computer use?’
I stared aghast at his lack of comprehension at the worlds I travelled in. He had the final word.
‘Not supporting you to sit on your arse all day. Get a job.’
The novel sits in my drawer today and is saved on several 5 1/4 inch disks. I wrote it on my Commodore 64; the greatest personal computer in 1984 with a whopping 64 kilobytes of RAM. (Am currently writing this on a PC with 16 million kilobytes of RAM)
Jobs End in Writing
I eventually got a job – many jobs. In every job, I would sneak off and jot down ideas, flesh some out, start developing a novel in the hope it went somewhere. My two greatest enemies were time and money (still are). Every time I moved in a direction to make money or pursue a different career path, writing got in the way.
- Completed 4 papers toward a business degree – gave up to pursue writing.
- Have attempted a few times to spent many hours investing in other opportunities – each time I conclude the time is better spent writing.
- Studied Ayurvedic counselling – turned it into a story.
- Studied to be a Naturopath. Tried to start a business – ended up writing the “Omega Children” series.
- Was unemployed and supposed to looking for work – enrolled in acting classes (a form of moving writing).
Welcome to my Club
I am thinking of starting up WA (Writer’s Anonymous) for those of us afflicted with this incessant craving to turn everyday events into intriguing yarns. Turns there is already a FB group for that.
Though I don’t think the 12 step program is utilized in it.
So, if you are, like me, compelled daily, weekly, monthly to endure countless ideas for stories, you are one of the blessed, for while writing is not without its struggles, I believe it represents the spark of creation and imagination that drives the human race forward.
Welcome to my club.