Recently a very lovely friend of mine wrote a wonderful post on why she writes and invited me to bloghop it up to give my answer to said question. So before we get into my answer, some words about your bloghop sponsor.
Larysia Woropay is a Canadian gamer, writer and like many of us, has a day job. She is insightful and her videos with the incomparable Walking Casino are reminiscent of Mystery Science Theater 3000 but with video games. Trust me, the banter is often hilarious and it’s nice to share a slice of Canadia, especially for a guy from the Caribbean. Apart from a talented writer and a funny gal, she also happens to be an extremely friendly human, open to discussions, conversations and all sorts of life enriching banter. Oh and she can probably kick your ass at the gym. She is currently in the final steps of bringing forth to reality her first book Lucidity and being a fan of dreams myself, I can’t wait to get my read on in the world she brings forth. Instead of offering spoilers, click here for her reasons on what she writes. It is an intriguing read and offers quite the unique perspective at the power of words and will invite you to look twice at heating and AC vents for the rest of your life.
By all means, also check her blog and keep an eye out; that above paragraph doesn’t do her justice though I’ll do my best in trying to answer the question of this particular blog hop.
Why do I write?
The short answer today is that I have to. For some time I wondered if I could be a writer. Then I really wanted to be a writer. Then I needed to publish a book and now I’m this maelstrom of ideas and once in a while I select a few to ground, polish and share with the world. I mention this because I know PLENTY of people who say they have a great idea for a book… the thing is that they leave it at that. They don’t tie an anchor to it. They don’t ground it, plant it, water it, prune it and enjoy its fruits. After I wrote, edited, formatted and published Only Human, I saw that it was possible and like I said at the start of this paragraph, I write because I have to.
What began as a curiosity became a desire and is nowadays a relentless need. Does that sound melodramatic? Of course. I told you I liked to write, right? The thing is that every writer has their driver. Some people want to create an epic story. Others want to touch someone’s life. Others desire to have impact. I can relate to all three except that when I begin a project, there's NO guarantees as to how it will end. Sure, I can have plot points, a story arc and an idea of where I’m going, but during the course of writing, special and wonderful things happen. Unexpected things pop up. Connections link and random bits of information cease to be arbitrary and become pivotal.
Only Human took me 7 years to write. That’s highschool, plus an extra year. That’s longer than some master’s degrees and PHDs. That’s one hell of an itch and I scratched it until I bled out a story. It began harmless enough, vampire kidnaps human to save the world. As basic an archetype as you can get. People have mentioned the first two chapters echo Underworld and the Matrix. This was intentional. What happens later is when things start to get interesting. For several chapters, Nathaniel Runnels is wondering where this is going and as the writer, so was I. I had no idea that this book would take me to where it has. It’s invited me to analyze humanity in all its aspects, it’s been a stage to challenge age old rules of the genre and to gender swap wherever and whenever I feel the need. It’s been my way to show just how much I question the reality I live while creating my own version. It’s me writing at my most agnostic in a fictional setting.
There is nothing else I do in my life that has allowed me such freedom of expression, of personal growth and of creative liberty as that book and my writing in general. Working in advertising and communications, quite often what ends up labeled as your work has several filters before it is published. It's part of the process and works in a corporate setting. My writing is me at my purest, at my most demanding at my most challenging. Although I want people to enjoy, I also want people to think, to question, to wonder, to explore.
On the other hand, I’ve been asked why I publish poetry, after all, poetry doesn’t sell. My answer is again simple but complex: I write poetry, because I have to. For the longest time I’d stopped writing poetry and two years ago, at the invitation of another great friend, I began to write again. What began as an occasional poem has become quite the stream of thought and I’ve already published two poetry collections, with a third one nearby and a fourth one in Spanish nearing completion, plus several other projects being worked on in tandem, exclusively in poetry. I’ve been able to explore my feelings and take painful negatives and turn them into positives. I’ve been able to become an emotional alchemist and say what I feel under the blanket of metaphor. I’ve been able to heal and know myself through my words.
On this blog I’ve written over 200 blog posts with plenty more to come. It has allowed me to connect to several people and share my opinion in a forum of respect and comprehension. I’ve had the honor of meeting people from around the world and who have been generous enough not only to read my words but to offer comments of gratitude, support or to establish dialogue. I’ve had people thank me for something I’ve written and tell me it was the first time they’d been able to love themselves in a long time. There's no way I can express my gratitude for such a comment except that I'm happy I was able to help.
All of this thanks to words. My words. Our words.
And that’s why I write. To connect. As soon as I hit publish or put out a book, those words cease to have exclusive rights to me. As soon as someone reads a poem, a book, a story, a post or a novel, we’re connecting and part of me wants more of that.
Even as a kid I enjoyed giving a good story and for the longest time in college I would go on these long rants to make people laugh and entertain them. Then when I was in my mid-twenties, a great friend invited me to collaborate on a blog that ran for 9 years. That blog changed my life because it showed me that I could resonate with someone from India as much as I could from someone who lived on the same block as me. For those 9 years, my therapy was to spew forth anger filled rants that slowly helped me hone my craft. What began as little bitch fits became more intricate and complicated and eventually, my desire to connect overshadowed my desire to vent. Writing on that blog convinced me I could put out a book and gave me some lifelong friends.
I also know the value of a well written letter. It can make someone’s day, it can bring them to tears and it can touch their lives. Words… just words on paper.
I am moved by words. I am touched by words. I am defined by words. I am better with words.
That’s why I write.
As this is a bloghop, we can’t leave out some interesting new people for you to connect with.
I give you three options then:
Katie M. is an extremely lovely librarian who has been kind enough to read my work. Being surrounded by books, it was a surprise my book resonated. But the more I read her blog, the more I understand. Living in Wisconsin, having such open, loving and tolerant thoughts might come as a surprise to many people. But if you get to know Katie, the love she has for writing, the love she has for a good book and her genuine interest in making a positive impact, it’s refreshing to know my words made sense. Her blog includes honest musings of a person who is bombarded with words and is always asking for more. She has incredible potential even if she writes it off. So expect references to books, to TV series, movies and to all things geeky, because she is a wonderful geek and goes to show that some of my favorite people in this world are in fact fellow geeks who have found common ground in what I have to say as well as what they have to share.
Maricel Jiménez is a fellow Puerto Rican author who has written one novel that has to do with pixies and fairies. A lovely lass, the joie de vivre and spark in her is undeniable. She embraces her inner child and offers up some genuine musings on her blog, showing that love for fantasy does not hinder one’s abilities to think critically and invite people to review things they thought they knew their full opinion on. At the Puerto Rico Comic Con I saw her interact with readers and she was another of those people for whom it is easy to root for. So if you’ve ever wondered what a Fairy Godfather has to say when things get dicey, best get on this ride. :D By all means, check out her book The Adventures of Pixie Piper.
Colin Rutherford knows a thing or million about dragons. His passion is borderline obsession and to boot, he’s a hell of a nice guy with a compelling book series that has dragons and plenty of them. Colin also manages the blog for a real life fictitious dragon and that’s what’s wonderful. It’s not every day you get to talk to a real life fictitious dragon :D much less read a full on series about them. So it begs the simple question… what are you waiting for? :D Get your read on with C.J. Rutherford and his Tales of the Neverwar.
So that’s my blog hop, including three brilliant up and coming writers in three stages of their careers, even if they don’t know it.
Peace, love, and maki rolls.