Saturday, August 20, 2011

When I finally became a writer

I didn’t have any aspirations to be a writer when I was growing up, although some people do wonder if I actually have grown up. I did read a lot but I don’t feel that really inspired me to try my hand at writing. My journey to being a writer was definitely a very long road. Let me begin with what I used to do, starting with a barbeque I attended last week with a few former co-workers. More on that in a minute. As usual with these events some people have changed quite a bit, while others looked pretty much as I remembered them. We exchanged information on what we were currently doing and several expressed surprise (well, more like shock) that I was now also a writer.

After the initial astonishment wore off, they asked me what I write about, followed by where I get my ideas from to write about.

The latter is a good question. I write science fiction and fantasy, so I have some leeway with being allowed to write what may not quite be possible. However I try to follow some basic rules. For example if I write a werewolf story I make sure there isn’t a full moon four nights in a row, somewhat impossible if one knows anything about astronomy. I also hold dear to the fact mass/energy cannot be created nor destroyed, so my vampires won’t change into a bat- where would the missing mass go? Not possible unless it was a 180 pound vampire bat. So I try to have some possibility in the stories I write. I’ve read a lot of books on physics and quantum mechanics. Believe me when I say there are enough strange possibilities out there without having to make up stuff that doesn’t work.

Back to the barbeque. The former co-workers were all from Xerox, where I toiled for many years as a service technician. I serviced printers and servers, and it usually wasn’t a fun job. Text messages constantly about another urgent service call, sales needs to know when the install will be done, Don needs help on the north side, emergency order parts delayed due to a truck breaking down. Lots of information to juggle around in my head. When I left I swore I would never do repair work for a living again. So there was some surprise at the barbeque that I wasn’t fixing things anymore but had morphed into someone else. I now sell imported wine as my occupation and for the first time in my life, I decided to write.

It was a rather dramatic change in thinking, going from a service technician to being a writer. I believe to be a good at repairing machines you need to very logical in your approach, specifically using the left of the brain. When I left Xerox, the right side of my brain was finally able to express itself.

So where do my story ideas come from? I don’t really know but I come with new story ideas all the time, maybe they were just hidden when I was adjusting a cam follower with Xerox and are now just trickling out. So there isn’t a shortage of ideas, just the time it takes to write about them. I am busy in the daytime with wine sales, and it is a great way to spend the day. I chat with customers over a sample of wine and it is very sociable. I also do wine tastings in the evenings and on weekends, so my writing time is somewhat restricted to the end of the day. I usually have a leftover bottle of wine from “work” and make use of that as I put together a story.

I wrote this blog as a way of telling you, dear reader, that all of us are capable of something we never thought of ourselves doing. Our friends and co-workers have a tendency to categorize us, and we accept that too easily. No, I’m not planning to become a professional hockey player, or become a lawyer. But I will in couple years learn to play a guitar and maybe try my hand at drawing (please respond to my ad for female models). So, if you’d like to try something- do it. Don’t restrict yourself by saying “I could never do that.” Yes you can. There is more to you inside than you’re showing to the world.

And now back to my writing my latest horror story, The Photocopier’s Revenge.

 Out Now!

Castle, Book Three by J. H. Wear
Melange Books  ISSN: 1555-5488


1 comment:

Mila Ramos said...

I will send you a female stick figure to help with your drawing *wink*