Okay, so you already knew that (if you've been here before; if not, ignore that statement). But I was looking through my past blog posts and noticed something odd: I never introduced myself or explained what I was doing here. So, here I am, 11 posts in, and I suddenly think: Hmm, maybe I should do that...
So, hello folks! And welcome to my very first blog! I hope you enjoy your stay with us, and please leave a comment on your way out. Thank you.
To be honest, why I started this blog is a complex answer. It isn't just that I wanted to talk about writing my book (though that was a large part of it, as you may notice), but also that I wanted to reach out and discover if there really were people out there who might read the dang thing when it was finished. But it isn't just that, either. I wanted to talk to people, get to know some perfect strangers and share with them the adventure of writing a novel. And then, I thought that maybe, if a bunch of people were counting on me to finish my book, the pressure would keep me going even when I felt like quitting.
But, to go even deeper than this, the reason I began a blog lies in the same reason I have chosen to be a writer. I love to write. I love the words on the page, that go deeper than black and white, and become a portal that can transport you into someone's mind. These two-dimensional characters open up a whole new world, with characters and landscapes and creatures quite unlike anything we know here in our mundane lives.
That sounds so figurative, so magical. To make it more real, why I write can be summed up into one memory. When I was seven years old, I had a very close friend. His mom and my mom were best friends, and so we, by necessity, became like brother and sister. We spent time together constantly. And, boy, did we bicker!
On one particular day, we were on a road trip together with our parents. We sat in the backseat, while our two moms talked in the front and generally ignored us. Now, this friend was very hyper. Sitting in a car for a long period of time was an incredible strain for him. And I was already a little bookworm at this age, and had brought along my favorite book at the time, BFG by Roald Dahl. I had probably read the book a million times before, but that particular day I wanted to read it again. But I couldn't. Because the little brat beside me wouldn't shut up long enough for me to complete a single sentence.
As you could imagine, I got pretty irritated. At first, I begged for him to stop talking and let me read. This did not work. Then, I demanded he shut up so I could read more than two words at a time. This also did not work. Finally, I grew so fed up, I began to read the book aloud.
He was furious! He whined and told me to be quiet. He promised he'd stop talking if I'd just shut up. He told his mom to make me stop. He even told me how much he hated books and didn't want to hear one read to him, and lectured me that if he wanted to read a book, he'd pick one up and read it himself.
I continued reading anyway.
And as I read, a magical thing occurred: He shut up. I continued to read the rest of the car ride, finally enjoying my beloved novel. At the end of the car ride, when it was time to shut the book and go inside, I expected my friend to tell me how horrible I was for putting him through that.
But, much to my surprise, he asked me if he could borrow the book after I was done, instead.
After that, this boy, who had had a lot of trouble with his grades in school, and had HATED reading any kind of book, began to read books on his own time and progressively got better grades. And now, because of those better grades, he is in college, training to be an FBI agent.
Now, if you wanted to be very kind, you could say I had something to do with that outcome. After all, if I hadn't read that book aloud, he might never have found a love for the written word. But those were not my words. It wasn't my world that transported him away and made him feel more alive. The true credit for his change of heart and brighter future goes to Roald Dahl, a man long dead.
And that's what I want. To touch one person's life enough to inspire them to reach for something better. That is the epitome of why I write.
I may die tomorrow. I may be dismembered, blinded, disfigured, or worse. But today, I write. What more can a person ask for?
Well, time for our writing quote of the day:
What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window. ~Burton Rascoe