Why I Write!

Why I write

 

I need a dumptruck mama to unload my head

 

I think my passion for writing began at a very early age. In Primary School Friday afternoon was purely for writing. I think our teacher wanted to end the week on a bit of a skive. We wrote for the whole two hours and I loved it. It was my favourite time of the week.

Back then we wrote with old nibbed pens with ink in inkwells. My thumb and two fingers were stained with ink, my work was full of blots and my writing was an indecipherable scrawl, but it felt like freedom. My mind gelled into stories, words and sentences. I came alive.

Because of my great untidiness I am certain that my teachers in Secondary school did not see or develop my writing skills but I remained an avid reader and my head was full of ideas. I wrote poems.

At the age of twenty one I decided I wanted to be a writer. I had this concept for a book that was a fragmentary collage of prose, poetry, cartoons and philosophy. It started with a sperm and egg and ended in death. I was utterly absorbed in it and it consumed my days for the next couple of years. It took around 2000 hours of typing. I called it Reality Dreams and sent it away to publishers to await instant acclaim. It was utterly, and rightly, rejected.

Undeterred I set about writing a more conventional Sci-fi novel. I enjoyed the writing so much, waking up in the night to jot down ideas, avidly typing as the thoughts flowed, trying to keep up. One book followed another. The ideas kept flowing, the passion soared and the rejection slips filled a drawer.

When we had our family I would come home from school teaching, play with the kids and put them to bed, watch a bit of telly and then start writing at around ten or eleven. I would lose myself in it and have to force myself to stop at around three so that I could get some sleep because I knew what I’d feel like the next day. When writing a book I would manage on four hours sleep a night for three or four weeks. Days would be full of scribbled notes as ideas came into my head while I taught. I scrawled them down in every free moment. It consumed me.

I stopped sending my books off. I merely kept them in drawers. I no longer thought about publishing them. I just wrote them. By the time I came up to retirement I had around forty of them. So I decided that I would self-publish them and then at least I would have a copy for myself.

The ideas keep coming though. I keep writing new books. I think it’s about 59 books now.

My early ones are typed on an old typewriter and exist as paper copies so I’ve been typing them up, so that they are now digital, editing them and then publishing them. I’m still working my way through them.

Which brings me back to the reason why I write.

I write because I enjoy the process even more than reading.

I write because the ideas fill my head and I enjoy capturing them.

I write because I enjoy solving the problems of how to make it work.

I write to tell stories, to describe terrible things so that they might not happen, to educate and to share the wonder. I write to communicate the things inside my head.

I work at getting better through the process of writing, editing and rewriting, listening to criticism and trying to take that on board. It’s a hard long procedure. Progress is always hard.

24 thoughts on “Why I Write!

  1. Why waste all that time on some years old idea that didn’t pass muster first time around and was rejected by publishers? Weren’t they rejected for good reason?
    You can’t possibly be chuffed to bits with them and I’m sure they will be an embarrassment. Or you’ll be the first writer I ever came across who doesn’t think so.

    1. Those early ones weren’t brilliant. I learnt a lot over the years but they are all my babies and I sweated over them. I just want a copy.
      They paved the way for the ones that really count. I love them all even if they are flawed.
      When I’ve done I will get my top ten properly published. The rest will be for me.

  2. I’m not nearly as serious as you. I got three books done, never published by a real publisher. I’m happy with them and still think they’re good, but they took me so much time!! Those late nights! No plans to write any more. I’m sticking to that country music. So my hat is off to you, brother.

    1. Well done Bumba. Not many people get to finish one. To do three is quite an achievement. Have you self-published them? If not why not?
      I know how long they take. My first ones were about 2-3000 hours of writing and rewriting. But I really enjoy the process of writing. In the end that’s why I do it.

    1. Just do it Pooj – one word after another, one idea after another, one story after another. Before you know it you have a mass of books.

  3. I can’t begin to count how many hours I spend writing and editing. The first two books took ten years each! I self published finally and they’re available on Amazon, see my Bumba Books category. No regrets – or apologies. Cheers!

  4. Hey Opher, Namaste 🙂

    I don’t doubt for one minute you’ll ever stop writing: they’ll have to prise the quill out of your hand. as you sign-off at the End.

    59 books is a remarkable achievement by any standard: and done whilst raising a family and achieving what you did teaching. Congratulations. The hours of your life invested in those works of literacy: when you look back will it all have been worth it? I’m pretty sure you’ll say yes.

    I also agree with your first commenter who suggests at pressing-on with current work whilst leaving previous as they are. If sales are academic to the purpose and need to write then I say write the new stuff and pour all the experience you gained into extending your craft?

    Thank you for sharing your abridged writers autobiography. You are a well of words waiting to be drawn and consumed.

    Have a pleasant evening. Namaste 🙂

    DN

    1. Dewin – the need to write is paramount. If new ideas come forward I seize them. My early books may not be brilliant but they are my babies and I nurture them
      I will look to getting my best properly published and that will be good enough.
      I’m sure you will amass a quantity if you continue your great output. I am still reading your first! It’s an achievement.
      Have a good week yourself – take care.

      1. You are indeed prolific Opher, and continue to be so: a never-ending river.

        I understand completely about the early books and being treasured as they are. They were/are brilliant in that they inspired you further and that passion has flourished and proliferated in your life. A thread always there running through everything.

        I like the sound of getting the ‘best’ published in the manner suggested. It will feel like renewal and completion simultaneously. A wonderful legacy to leave for posterity presenting a substantial picture of you in print.

        I hope to always enjoy the writing. Thank you for readership of The Wizard Of Wands….you’ll be my first known reader. It is an achievement: my proof copy ended up in the bottom of an aquarium: not quite drenched but certainly damp. The book was dedicated to a mermaid, which is ironic. The copy is on loan to a friend. I don’t have a version for myself as yet. Finishing it feels such a long time ago.

        Enjoy the middle and end of the week. Take care, happy reading and writing.

        Namaste 🙂

        DN

      2. I knew you’d understand. For me it isn’t about only putting out the brilliant stuff. A lot of writers are worried that people would be put off by flaws in their early work. Not me. All my stuff has things I consider of merit even if they are flawed. The early stuff enabled me to write the later stuff. I am very happy with the standard of around ten of my books. That’s good enough for me. People have enjoyed my books. I know that. The others may not be as good but they mean a lot to me.
        I will get around to placing those ten when I’m ready. Until then the imperative is to write and to rewrite my early ones and hold them in my hand. I gave birth to them all.

      3. Namaste Opher 🙂

        You are committed to your cause and that is for all to see and be inspired by.

        I also enjoy the fact that you are able to happily let go of all but 10 books. That is a mature approach ( a seasoned approach) to writing, which I’ve yet to arrive at. I hope I might be as willing to do the same.

        ‘I gave birth to them all.’ This is exactly what I was trying to suggest at to a family member who I am trying to encourage to write. They have the innate skill but are perhaps missing the motivation. I cannot find that aspect for them, but can certainly point them in the right way as far as I can and then direct them to articles such as this to inspire their creativity and desire.

        Happy writing in the sunshine 🙂 Have a great day and an even better weekend. Take acre.

        Namaste 🙂

        DN

      4. Cheers Dewin – we do what we have to do. Creativity is a driving force and we ride the tsunami wherever it takes us.
        It is very cold and cloudy on the East coast and has been for most of a week. Seems everywhere has sun but here! Never mind – you don’t need sun to write!
        Have a good week.
        Good vibes.

  5. You have determination
    That’s clear and very swell
    You also have ideas
    And stamina as well
    I hope you’re one day published
    I hope your future’s bright
    ‘Cos now I want to read the tale
    Where egg and sperm unite 😂

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