It wasn’t that long ago that I made a decision – I’m going to call myself a writer. That may seem like a stupid pronouncement, but it came out of years and years of thinking I’m not a good enough writer to write anything that anyone would want to read. I lacked confidence. And because of that, I didn’t write. That great novel I started 13 years ago lasted two pages and was finally trashed. But within the last 6+ years, I’ve felt a renewed call to write, and I’ve written so much more than I ever thought would have been possible. So now, as I sit with three completed novels behind me, more than a half-dozen plays of various genres, I looked back on my life and realized that I had it all wrong all this time. I always had the heart of a writer. It was just manifested in different ways. So I thought I would share how my writing evolved over the years, not that this is anything ground-breaking or even very interesting, but sometimes the perceptions we have of ourselves are not completely accurate. Sometimes it times time and perspective to really understand how we have developed and grown as a person. I hope the message is clear: if you love to do something – do it! Regardless of praise or criticism, regardless of days when you feel invincible or desperate. Just live the dream and enjoy. And if others happen to enjoy what you do as well, then all the better.
Come to think of it, I was always a writer – Part I – 1975-1989.
My first play: I must have been ten or eleven and I wrote a play about the Biblical story of Esther. I remember showing it to my mom and being so proud that I added in two sentries for comic relief to lighten up the thick drama.
Lyric Writer: In my high school years, I wrote many different song lyrics, creating all kinds of tunes and even made-up bands and artists in my head. I still remember some of those old tunes. I especially loved to write songs when I was mowing grass. If the song was good, I’d sing it over and over enough in my head so that I’d actually remember it.
College Poet: My college years were my poetry years. I probably wrote hundreds of poems or fragments – most of them I still have in a red binder. My poetry was all over the place. I wrote an epic poem modeled after Alexander Pope for one of my literature classes. I got a B simply because my professor said it was too ‘dense’ and difficult to wade through. He was right. I wrote love poetry to my girlfriend, and one of the poems ended up being in our wedding invitations.
Little did I know that my writing would take a great turn once I headed overseas – because I never expected to go overseas. But I’m sure glad I did.
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