Why do I write?
I’ve asked myself this question a lot, and the answer is undeniable.
I’ve always loved history, good stories, libraries, poetry, well written journalism…the written word in general. Magical. Powerful. Motivational. I truly believe that the written word is part of the bedrock of the foundation of society. I love the intimacy and the stark clarity of it. The written word has allowed us to retain and pass knowledge through the generations. It has circulated powerful ideas that would birth a nation, allows for the sharing of ideas, memories, events, stories, and other facets of the human experience in a manner completely unparalleled by anything else. The written word is arguably the most powerful and most influential tool humanity has ever created. For me, this is an undeniable truth.
I never thought I wanted to be an author growing up. I just didn’t think it was in my cards. I enjoyed writing, but that mostly took the shape of personal letters, or journalism stories about sporting events. I was always reading, all sorts of things. I read books, magazines, the daily newspaper, comics, and blogs. I’ve always been someone that actually sees the world around me and has a genuine interest in and about it. I observe, critically. As life experience would have it, the more I read, the more I began to develop my own opinions on things and started to wonder exactly what I would have to say about any given topic if I were to organize my thoughts into one coherent stream. Eventually, this idea was realized in the form of a blog about sports. After writing this blog for about a year, I noticed I had developed a bit of a following, even though my posts were not always coming on any structured schedule. People were actually interested in what I had to say on a subject it was my job to know something about (sports journalism is my day job). Cool.
In 2012, I took what I learned in that “for fun” laboratory and put it to use in a new and different blog on the website for my small, for profit business that focused on personal preparedness. I continued writing, again not really holding myself to any set posting schedule, and once again my work was received well.
While writing this blog, I came across The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly and really enjoyed it, so I decided to reach out and ask him for interview about the book. Pressing fast forward to make a long story short, that bit of cold outreach led to Steve and I becoming friends, him urging me to aggregate my thoughts and publish a book on personal preparedness that turned into the Practical Tactical Quick Start Guide, and then joining him as a co-author on Practical Prepping Period: No Apocalypse Required. It sure is funny how the universe works some times.
Soon thereafter, my wife and I had our first child, and two-plus years later we had our second. By design, this put the breaks on my attempting to write anything on deadline, but I wouldn’t have any other way. I simply enjoy being daddy too much to let anything else take my time. But just because I wasn’t writing didn’t mean I wasn’t still enjoying writing. I wrote what I could whenever the motivation struck, whenever I could, but I was consistently reading…specifically novels…which was a bit of change given I had mostly read non-fiction history the majority of my adult life.
Once again, all of this reading, paired with an abundance of time to ponder such things, led me to wonder how I might tell whatever story I was listening to at the time. Would I describe that scene that way? How would I write my favorite character? Why did or didn’t the author tell me more about this piece of the story? Ultimately, I found myself beginning to answer these questions. Before I knew it, I had a couple of my own stories rolling around in my head and I came to the realization that I wanted to…no, needed to…share them with the world. I didn’t know if anyone would read them, but I knew I had to write them.
As I sit here writing this post, I have published my short story novella BANG and I am about halfway through my first novel.
So, how do I know that I’m an author? There are a lot of metrics used to make this determination about oneself, each is unique, and most everyone has an opinion about the topic. But for me, it turned out to be pretty simple. I know I’m an author because I have found my voice through actually writing, and I have stories and characters in my head that have to come out. It’s funny, but when I can’t get the character’s voices in my head to shut up, that’s when I know I have to start writing down what they’re saying because they have a story to tell.
So for me, all of this was a natural progression. It’s been quite the adventure so far, and like my stories I don’t claim to know where it’s headed, but I sure am looking forward to finding out and I appreciate you for coming along for the journey.