The Road to Self-Publishing: #2 Why Do I Write in the First Place?

Actually pondering a warm pub…

It’s a pretty big question to unpack. Why do I write? Why does anyone write?

My answer is a bit more of a story, really. When I was young, I didn’t write/read at all. I spent most of my time goofing about or playing outside climbing trees. Truth is, I was more of a drawer and painter. It was my sister who loved writing and reading. So how on earth did I get here?

I remember that Christmas in 2000 quite fondly. I got an enormous heap of presents and amongst the lot, were two books. Harry Potter entrants: The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Now, I know what you’re thinking. What about the first one? Has he read the first? No, this was a tragic parental error which resulted in me reading them out of chronological order! My first exposure to them had been in Middle School a year previous, so I can only guess my family took a hint and bought these as a result.

Once I got into the HP series, following the movie releases closely, my need to explore more wonderful worlds grew exponentially. I was gifted various fantasy series by my Mum such as David Eddings, Terry Brooks, and Tad Williams. Then I discovered the likes of Stewart and Riddel’s gorgeous Skypirate series. I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading – but that doesn’t explain how I got into writing, does it?

Fast forward to 2002, I finally made it to High School and met some friends. Only a few though, I was very short and had bright ginger hair. This guaranteed me four years of brutal isolation but I would soon discover other places to venture without their harassment.

I got into online games like Runescape, and at the time, played Tomb Raider fanatically on the PlayStation. The concept of exploring worlds in books and in games hooked me. Soon, out of sheer chance, I discovered a forum called Gaia Online that encouraged in some of the threads, creative writing.

At the time, somewhere in 2004, I was struggling with English. For my end GCSE grade, I was getting predictions of a D and studying Shakespeare and Robert Frost was a huge challenge for me. I dreaded English and felt nothing short of stupid – despite my utter love for the written word. So I decided to interact on this Gaia forum, writing up my own worlds and characters – creating scenarios and adventures for fellow writers to get involved in.

And that’s how it all started!

I spent hours upon hours upon hours stuck at the computer writing. It was addictive! My writing improved thanks to regular criticism and practice. My English teacher Mrs. Mircoli blessed me with fantastic support and as a result, I came out with an A! I really couldn’t believe it. The rest of my grades were mediocre and poor, but I just didn’t care. I’d achieved something great in something I loved. So I was set…

Ever since those angst-driven years, I’ve continued to put pen to paper and write short stories or poems. In a crazy twist of fate, I ended up the writer and my sister ended up the artist. We fuelled each other and turned the tables. I find that quite ironic in a funny way.

So why do I write? Because it’s a cyclical feeding process of need and positive feedback. I get such a rush and excitement from writing out new worlds and characters, which in turn feeds me with positive and fulfilling emotion. Rinse and repeat. All I can is, thank you for those books for Christmas, thank you for random creative writing forums on the internet, and thank Mrs. Mircoli for driving me to achieve my best.

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