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.