Everyone has a different reason for writing, and among those that write, many have even more reasons for wanting to be a writer. Some get into writing for the adventures and stories, and others for the community. Some grew up writing, dreaming of being published (until they learned that isn’t the ultimate goal) and yet others started writing as just a hobby. But for me, writing is my business. From the creative freedom to the technical skill, writing is one of the foundations of my life. Here are my reasons for writing.
Regardless of how you got to my site, or how you started writing, I want to welcome you to the world of writing! Now, before we get to my main 3 reasons for being a writer, I feel like having a little background about how I got into writing will help preface my reasons.
My story is probably a very common one. I grew up with a mother who read fantasy, science fiction, and mysteries nearly nonstop. My father would read some of my mother’s books and read nonfiction books he enjoyed. I learned to read very early on and started reading everything from Harry Potter and modern children’s fiction to old science fiction by Niven and McCaffrey. Growing up, I ended up being that weird kid that liked school and didn’t like sports. For the 90s, liking school was weird (apparently) and loving to read was even more weird (according to my first grade teacher…yes you read that right). I would bring books to recess, which didn’t help the situation much (but it was way more fun than kicking a soccer ball around…at least for me).
So, almost naturally, I started writing my own stories. I can remember the very first idea I ever had that required me to write more than a couple of pages. I called it Map of the Hidden World and it was about a man who inherited a map from a grandparent. The map led him to a giant tree that, once you walked through its gate-like root system, led to a magical world. In that world, he bonds with a baby dragon and ends up with
Power Ranger-like powers, the dragon becoming the power suit and providing the powers. I even remember the scene at which I stopped writing, it was a magical race that the main character had to win to get some information. I realized it was essentially a mashup of the Power Rangers and a book called Magical Kingdom For Sale….Sold by Terry Brooks that I had just read, and so I moved onto another project.
Since then (5th grade) I’ve never stopped writing. In high school I always took the creative writing options for projects. I worked through writing a book called The Orb of Toadeye Hall which was essentially a rip off of Harry Potter with a Tron-like disc game except using magic. I worked through a book I called River’s Ignorance, which mashed together air and water benders with a Brandon Sanderson-esque magic system. My ideas ranged all over the place, but usually they were some adaptation or twist on the books I was reading at the time.
Series of Incredible Events
After some dark years where all of my teachers said writing novels wasn’t a good career choice, I had the best series of events happen to me.
- I took a class from Brandon Sanderson. The first thing he said to me (and the class) was that writing is a completely viable career—if you put in the work and treat it like a career.
- Then, I took a class from Carol Lynch Williams who told me I had real talent and could make it as an author—if I put in the work.
- Then Ben Grange, and agent in New York, told me (and a class I was taking) about the publishing industry, and overnight I switched majors from Computer Science to English with an Editing minor.
- I started going to writing conferences like WIFYR and LTUE where I met authors who talked about how they made it their living. I realized (after a few conferences) that this industry was a place for me.
But the most influential moment that has made me want to go all in on being an author, and make everything else the backup plan, happened at a conference in Provo, Utah called Life, the Universe, and Everything in February of this year (2018 for those people reading in the future).
A author named Myke Cole, who is also a New York City cop, told a room full of maybe a hundred people that we hadn’t sacrificed enough. He said that if we really wanted to be an author, to write books as a major part of our income, than sacrifice would be needed. After he explained what he had sacrificed to be a writer, I realized that I had held onto excuses for too long. So I started writing more. I went to other conferences. I came up with new ideas that were not just mashups, but original ideas (as original as ideas can be anyway).
My Reasons for Writing
And that’s what brought me to now. So here are my 3 reasons for being an author.
- I want to help people of all ages, but especially kids ages 8-18, learn how to creatively solve problems. Books taught me how to navigate the real world as I applied what my heroes did in stories to my real world life.
- I want to show the world that applied imagination can create viable career options. I dreamed up and created my content editing and design business called Hybrid House. I’ve also learned how to used the Adobe Creative Cloud and how to build a website with WordPress. And it all took applied imagination, and then the work ethic to make it happen.
- And, ultimately, I want to get better at something I’m good at. This is a business, my writing is the product, and making my products and skills better will always be on the forefront of my mind.
And if those are too specific for you, than the easy answer is that I want to influence people (in a good way) with my writing. Thank you for reading!