From since about the age of 10, I’ve been writing.
Granted, a lot of what I wrote during my formative years was either simply copying plots and characters from comic books or pulp paperbacks and writing gripping two page novels about team-ups between Batman and Tarzan. Good thing all of those are lost to the mists of time. As I moved through my teens and early twenties, I graduated to more mature and sophisticated stories – a lot of them written long hand and still unfinished. Its not that I didn’t want to finish them, I was just lazy.
I kept telling myself, I should get serious about it.
But then there’s that voice that says, yeah, we’ll do that… right after we do this other thing! I hate that voice.
Up until then I was busy exploring other parts of a creative life, acting, performing, etc. I was still fooling around with writing then. I made copious notes, wrote chapters for books or translating gaming moments to written passages from D&D games we had played – I wrote reams of descriptive text for table-top RPG’s like D&D, encounters and item descriptions, dialogue for NPC’s and basic world-building necessary for fantasy settings or novels.
In other words I had been practicing. Dabbling, fooling around. I wasn’t serious about it.
In 2007 I got serious.
The reasons behind why I got serious are varied, but the main one was this: I was very unhappy.
I was unhappy because I wasn’t following the path I was supposed to. Now I know you will call new age-metaphysical hogwash on that, but the fact remains – if you are walking the path that you were made to walk, you will know it. Body and Soul. You will find joy in the little things, you will look forward to waking up in the morning and you will feel like you are connected.
I was feeling none of those things. I felt trapped and fat and blue.
But I couldn’t put my finger on why. Until life pulled the rug out from under me and I was confronted with a very big change.
I resisted as first, as we all do when the routine gets disrupted. We all want to stay comfortable, calm, safe. But, life, the universe and all that jazz has a different idea about that. You have to get shaken up, knocked down and sometimes shattered to see that where you are and what you were was the root of your unhappiness.
I started to get happy again, when I started really trying to write seriously. It didn’t stop the inevitable, and I really wasn’t in a good place until about 2012 – but the writing, the writing was a joy.
I had to unlearn a lot of things in order for the writing to really flow though. For instance, I had convinced myself I needed the right environment to right – the right desk, the right pencils, whatever. That was my brain telling me not to write. I had convinced I could only work on one thing at a time. Again, my brain telling me not to write – as I type this I have three documents open, and am tweaking them all at the same time – not sure if that’s a good thing – but I am WRITING.
Recently I was fortunate enough to have my novella “Buddy Holly and the Cold, Cold Ground” selected to be published by the fine folks at Cool Beans, P&E on October 6th, 2014. They have been terrific to work with and came up with an amazing cover design:
Pretty slick, huh? 🙂
Of course, now that it’s going to be presented to the public at large, I’m going through a stage of self-doubt. Is it good enough? Will it be entertaining? How will it be received? What if people hate it? And of course the big one – was it selected because I have a small claim to fame, being a big blue floating head?
I hope that my writing is taken on merit alone and not because of anything else.
Then again, I should embrace the fact that being recognized for something allows my submission to stand out from the rest. Embrace that it can be beneficial to the ultimate goal which is to be read, to have my words entertain or possibly even touch a reader. Inspire them to create something themselves.
For a long time I kind of ducked the spotlight, didn’t want to be noticed – mainly out of a great fear of not living up to the image they might have. We’re all human after all, I make mistakes just like everyone else. I perhaps take things a bit too seriously at times, think too much about them, allow my concern to overshadow the joy of the moment.
But this is just me – and it will succeed or not based on my writing alone. And I’m excited to see what happens.
I’m getting better at accepting that people recognize me as Zordon. Now the goal is for them to recognize my writing.
Because I’m finally serious about it.