Let me start of by saying that I’ve had the same revelation for a while now. I’m a nobody when it comes to writing. I might have books on Amazon, I believe in what I do, and I believe in my talent. I believe I’ve got a lot to learn about my craft and I welcome it, because those that think they’ve learned it all are fooling themselves.
But I’m going to do it my way, even if it doesn’t make me another cent for the rest of my life. I will write for myself first and the reader second, because if you can’t stand what you write then you can’t expect the reader to either. I am a nobody in the literary world, one voice calling out in the midst of millions, but I will still raise my voice on the off chance that someone will hear it and wish to listen.
That being said, my literary journey had begun long before the day a former friend decided to try and upend my road by deciding to spur me on in a way that might be seen as confrontational by some but was actually quite comical at the time. Upon entering his home and walking into the kitchen I had a book cover thrust into my face with the words “Fuck this book!” accompanying the action.
Obviously I didn’t know what to think at first. The book, Elminster in Hell, was one I hadn’t fully read yet as it had began to drag on during the reading. With all due respects to Ed Greenwood, who is a best-selling author and well-known among fantasy readers, his style is simply different and a bit dry for my tastes, but Elminster, one of his best creations, is still a rather interesting figure. Imagine Gandalf being crazier and having serious impulse control issues but also being able to do things that few if any mages throughout literary history have ever been able to accomplish and you’ll have an idea of what Elminster is like.
However, my friend at that time believed we could collaborate and come up with a better book than a best-selling and proven author, and I’ll admit that the prospect was taken as a challenge. Now honestly I’ve come nowhere close to where I wanted to be at this point, as if you’re reading this blog, and I don’t know how many will, you’ll understand that my name comes up only once in every few million searches when it comes to being author.
But it did manage to spur me on a bit, and since then I’ve written well over thirty novels, many short stories, and have become a freelance writer that gets to do what I love and get paid. So it’s not all bad to be honest.
As for my friend? Well, former friend I should say. He and I never finished that book, as I took it upon myself to grab the story and run with it, especially after asking over and over when we would get to the story and being told “soon” while he told me to crack another beer and join him in the blissful oblivion of alcoholism. Thankfully I didn’t go down that road, but hopefully he’s found a way to steer from it these days and has found something more positive to look towards.
As for myself, I am a writer, even if my books never make another cent, and even if I work for another the rest of my life. My words and my life are dedicated to the stories that will be told and the imagination that will be used to create them.
I’m a writer, now and always.