Thursday, March 3, 2016

How I Became a Writer

            When I was little, as far back as I can remember, I liked to make up stories.   That’s how I entertained myself on long car trips, or long afternoons hoeing potatoes, stacking firewood or lounging in a grassy nook on the homestead bermpile.  One of the best times for story making was time between going to bed and going to sleep. Warm and comfortable beneath a wool quilt I could create interesting characters, fit them out with gear and comrades, and then send them off.  I would disappear into the mountains with Sam the mountain man, or sail off with Andy in pursuit of pirates.  Sometimes my story would be so exciting that I looked forward to my time alone so I could reinter that life my character was leading like I was reading a good book.
            As I grew older and became more of an adult, I began to dream up stories of my actual life, projecting what might, could, or should be for the future Dan.  Sometimes these stories came true and many didn’t. Then I started writing them down. This is what developed into being the writer I am today.  In the process, I have discovered that a writer needs to learn about language, the writing process, and story structure.  Finally, I found that writers have to spend a lot time working at writing.
 Perseverance is critical.
            Just as I savored creating stories for myself, I now like writing stories and sharing them — some of them anyway.  I like constructing these characters out of the experiences in my life and examining how they respond and change.  I find it really exciting when these characters seem to take the initiative and go off on their own way and let me follow and record.  That is what writing is for me, to build stories that could or might be.  Yes, some stories have actually happened for they come from my life, but they are seen through my lens and remembered by my unique version of memory.  They are mine. 

            Of course, I hope that some one will publish my stories and I hope that people will buy my books an then some one will want to publish more of my books.  But in the end, it goes back to being that boy making up stories as a he lay awake at night waiting to go to sleep. 

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