When I was twelve years old, I armed myself with a piece of notebook paper, and a trusty no. 2 pencil. I delved into the world of story-making, and I’ve never looked back.
It started as a hobby, something that I did for fun. Honestly, I never planned it would turn into a career (OK, I’m still working on that…). I remember that it was largely due to Star Wars that I started. Even at twelve, I was an avid science-fiction reader and Star War addict (Those who know me well could argue that I haven’t changed much) and eventually, I determined that I would see my name on the front cover of a Star Wars Novel. I can’t really remember why I didn’t ever actually write down that first novel idea, (who knows, maybe it’s still in there bouncing around somewhere) but within a few days of my proclamation of “I am going to write a book.” I had shifted to a new story, one of my own creation.
That first story never really went anywhere. I guess most first stories don’t. Sure it morphed and it evolved over the years, growing as I grew and changing as I changed, but in the end it pretty much just laid down from the exhaustion of being beaten up over the years and died.
Despite having killed my first patient, I refused to give up and committed to several new ideas, more science-fiction, and a fantasy idea… all of which followed their predecessor by throwing themselves on whatever sharp objects they could find to put themselves out of their misery once and for all. (In hindsight I can now see that it was because I largely based them off of my favorite movies or books. As the similarities bled through, my early works essentially became copies of other people’s work.)
My first real survivor, the only story I was able to save thus far, came in the form of a short-story entitled “Dessic’s Freedom” which I wrote and entered in the Desert Empire fair in California when I was 17. Mercifully, the judges awarded a 2nd place. But that poor thing, whilst having survived, was largely deformed and miserable with spelling and grammatical errors, run-on sentences, bad prose, and a plot with holes so large you could fly a Boeing 747 through them.
Still, I refused to submit to the towering giant of despair who shouted to give up while I was ahead and find a sensible career. I shelved the larger projects, mainly so as not to kill them before their time, and switched to short-stories. Again, like “Dessic’s Freedom”, the first few emerged deformed and barely alive. But I kept at it, and within a year, produced and entered a short story, entitled “Alone” that not only took first place, but also was awarded “Best of Show” (which I was told they didn’t normally ever give out in the writing division).
Since then I have finished numerous short stories, each better than the last, and have even un-shelved a novel or two (Nobody’s flat-lined yet, so that a good sign.) In addition to that, I’ve started this Blog, jumped into the One Year Adventure Novel, and grew as a writer in more ways than I can possible name here.
When it really comes down to it, I became a writer because I had a story to tell. I still have a story to tell, and I know I will always have a story to tell. In fact, I hope to die one day with a pen in my hand trying to finish just one more story.
Once the Siren of Story whispers in your ear, there’s no escaping her call. Because once you experience the passion of creation, the art of making nothing into something, you can’t ever go back. And for good reason: it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world to take raw elements and make something out of them. To turn letters into words. And words into sentences, and paragraphs and chapters and books. That’s why people paint, and sculpt, and knit, and weave, and draw, and compose and play and build. And to do so in a way that honors and glorifies God.
You really can’t beat that.
And that’s why I write.
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How & why did you become a writer? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!