Who do you write for? I think that this is a simple question with many different answers. But, it is a question that I think in one form or another all artists have to answer.
I know that as I have written, my own answer to this question has changed greatly. My writing journey started when I was about seven or eight and I wrote a picture book called “The Date Who Baked a Cake.” It was a simple kids story that I wrote because I felt like it. At that time, I didn’t even really read that many book or have an interest in reading or writing but for some reason I wrote that story. but it was my spark. That was my beginning.
Fast forward, twelve years and it was a very different story. In middle school and high school I really caught the reading bug and you could almost always find me with a book. During that time, I still wasn’t writing, in fact thanks to the the “On Demand Writing binge” during that time I hated writing. But books were good. Then I made my big mistake, I was lost after I entered college without much direction for what I really wanted to do with my life and I wound up joining the Military.
I call this a mistake but this actually shaped my life greatly and you can see some of that in my book, Swell. I respect the military and all of the people who serve in it but for me, basic almost killed me and I mean that quite literally. But within that, I started to find my words and my reason for writing became to escape the hell I found myself trapped in as my body broke down while still attached to my training unit. You weren’t allowed books beyond training manuals in basic or MOS training, so I wrote my own in notebooks, which you were allowed. Looking back, they were crappy stories but they were my real start.
After I was discharged because my stomach basically shut down during basic, I came back home and was still lost, but I kept on writing. During that time, I decided that I was going to study what I had an interest in and pursued Japanese. My parents invited my on a cruise during that time and I spent most of the sailing time on the walkways writing. One of the defining points for me in that was when we went Scuba Diving, the Scuba lady asked my dad what I did, and he told her that I was a writer. I don’t think I have ever told him, but those simple words really affected me and helped me decide what I wanted to be.
That led to me writing. Those hundred page notebooks, I had over twenty of them within the next year and most of them were full of writing. Once again, looking back, most of it wasn’t that great, but it was all part of my foundation. Fast forward a few years and I had my business degree and I went to Japan as an Exchange student. Guess what, I wrote a lot while in Japan. I hung out with friends also and learned that the world is a bigger and a smaller place than I knew and I started pouring that into my writing. I was a poor college kid and there wasn’t much that I could do, but I could write and I did.
Later, I returned to Japan as an English teacher, see Swell for some ideas on how that was, and I had a lot of free time on my hands. I poured it into writing and I wrote two books in my time in the Ine area. Swell and Swell: A New Beginning. At this time, I was writing with the hope of getting published and earning a living off of my writing. That didn’t happen.
But, through my writing, I realized that I am not writing for anyone but myself. That may sound a little stuck up, but that is the reality of it. If I am writing, it is because there is a story that wants to get told and I want to know what happens in it, but to do that I must first write it. That is the reason why I still write.
I won’t lie, I still hope to make a living off of my writing, but even if that doesn’t happen, I will keep on writing because that is who I am, not just a story teller, but a world builder and breaker, and if just one person is affected by my writing then I have succeeded.
If you would like to read more, follow any of the links and enjoy. Oh, and if you could leave a review when you are finished reading it, that would be a great help. Reviews help me to know your thoughts and help others know if a book is for them. Thank you.
If you are interested in looking at any of my publications, here they are:
Account of the Change Series: