Why I write
10 July 2017
Welcome all and thank you for spending time with me. This is the first blog post I am putting up, hopefully with many more to follow. Allow me to take a moment to outline the general format I am aiming for. I am going to start with two days a week, trying the get a third in when I can. Mondays will cover “Ren and Marie,” my children’s book series. Thursdays will be to discuss “The Chaotic Destiny,” my flagship novel series. For each of those projects, I will cover relevant updates, background information, artwork and design conceptualization, as well as maybe a Q&A if there is interest. The third weekly post, which I hope to fit in on the weekend…maybe…will cover personal, general writing, and publishing related topics. Anyway, thanks again for deciding to spend some time on my site. Let’s get to it.
The question “Why?” is asked far less than one might think. There are many types of writing. So far, I write military science-fiction novels and children’s books. After wrapping their heads around this dichotomy, most people end up asking “How?” Explaining the how is important and probably will be the central theme of this blog. However, I try to keep tabs on the “Why?”, mostly to make sure I am doing the right thing for the right reason. Why I write has evolved over the last fifteen years. I think I can break it down into four reasons.
Writing, at least creative writing, started as an outlet for my teenage angst…if you will. I was neither a rebellious nor troublesome teen, but I was very unhappy. Without going into too many details, the combination of family relocation, divorce, remarriage, and puberty, left me in need of an outlet. Many will recognize this in themselves and we each must wrestle with our own demons. However, prodding from exceptional English teachers my senior year led me down this path, where I could both focus my energy productively while being fulfilled by the process.
The second reason stems from the fact that I am very analytic. I am quite observant and have a vivid memory. Combine this with an insatiable curiosity and you have a wonderful recipe for chronic overthinking. Time and maturity have tempered the impulse to info dump on nearest unsuspecting victim, but fiction writing presented itself as another lens to focus my hyperactive mind.
The next reason is probably the most important in defining who I have become. I am not someone who is deterred by a challenge. I may dispassionately assess an individual task as a monumental pain in my ass, but I am rarely discouraged to the point of paralysis or capitulation. The third reason why is for my career. For various reasons, I have been excluded from other desired career paths, so I decided on one I can control. This is a huge task and the odds are not in my favor. Despite this I feel impelled to keep at it. I prefer the following quote to frame my attitude toward the idea.
“…we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…” – John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962.
(an aside, the way JFK pronounces “decade” makes me giggle)
I very much have a “Why not?” attitude because of this idea; an attitude that is very alive to this day.
The last answer to the question “Why?” is out of a desire to give something back. I have found there are many writers that have the same dreams and drive I possess; and some of them are damn talented! I also see in them mired in the same roadblocks, mental or otherwise, I have experienced. I feel compelled to at least offer my own experiences in the hope it may help. Call it what you will, but I feel the need to give back in my progressing years.
So those are the four reasons “Why I write.” I could write much more on each of these points, but I really want to keep these blog posts under 1000 words. There you have it. I first wrote as an outlet for frustration, not unlike many creatives. Writing became a secondary outlet for my hyper analytical mind. Thirdly, I want this to be my career and not because it will be easy. Finally, I want to help others in the same pursuit.
Well, this is a start. Thanks again for checking out my work and I hope you check back in for more.
-Z. E. Duval