What is it that drives the writer?

There’s a drive in me that won’t allow me to do certain things that are easy.  – Johnny Depp

I have been asked this question for the last year and half. What makes me stay up and write every night. Or in the middle of the day. I get this question from people at work and from relatives. There is not really an answer for this question. The same thing that drives every artist, the challenge of doing something beautiful, using my brain for something other than watching T.V. or video games. Dragging me off the T.V. used to be something that was very hard. I would watch the news, and ESPN. I would play video games all the time. It got to the point where it became a detriment to my relationship with my wife. The trip we took to Disneyland two years ago changed that. I had an idea for a story and began writing while I was on vacation. I only had notebooks to write in. No laptop or computer. The story evolved drastically from one small scene into the 43k words I now have in my third draft.

Another thing that drives me is my kids. My son is six and seeing his imagination on a daily basis gives me strength to use my own. My son was four when we went to Disneyland. He was fearless, he wanted to go on all the big rides (even though he couldn’t). We went on the Matterhorn He laughed the entire time. Seeing how fearless he was what I needed. I had been afraid to do something on the scale of a book for a long time. My son has been my inspiration for my writing more than anything. Reading to him at night, watching his eyes flicker with the imagination of listening to me tell the story. That is what I want to bring to people. Make their imaginations work again.

A little over a year after our trip my cousin was published. Seeing someone, I knew breakthrough that helped me a lot. My cousin has been supporting me since I told her that I write too. Her book was published in August 2009. The second in the series comes out August 2010. In addition, last August I decided to take a class online through Gotham Writer’s Workshop. The class helped me develop my skills and showed me things that were missing from my work as a writer. I may take another class this summer. I highly recommend it to anyone new at writing or that needs a refresher course in creative writing.

The struggle to get writing done is the hardest thing. Read my last post to understand this. Sometime putting the words down on paper, the screen, or whatever you write with is hard sometimes. After I 25k, the writing was harder. Right now, everything feels like it is falling into place. Sometimes not where I expected it. The unexpected is what makes me a better writer. Having things pop up in the story that are not in my notes or plot lines. Those are the times I really enjoy it. I truly feel those times as if I am doing something good.

Drive is what makes you do things that normal people would not do. I have never felt like I would do anything normal with my life. I was resigned to the facts, that not many writers who submit works get published. Now I choose to ignore those facts. I always felt I was meant for something bigger. That is the reason I joined the military (was honorably discharged from the Marines while still at boot camp for medical reason). That is the reason I tried acting when I lived in California. I did all these things while I was still writing. It took the birth of my son to make me see that I was chasing the wrong thing.

Writing has been the best therapy I have ever used. I have dealt with monsters and demons from my past. Dealt with family that I no longer talk to. I have changed things in my life all for the sake of being a better writer. Sometimes in life, you have to take a different path than those who went before you. Some people may not like the path, they may not believe in you. You have to believe, if you don’t know one else will.


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