Writing is what I do, so I guess a writer is what I am…
For years and years I assembled words for people. Business words, advertising words, project words, all kinds of words. Also some poetry, some short fiction, but only listlessly. Deep down, I just wanted to write. Deeper down, I did not have the courage to abandon my day job and compromise my ability to take care of myself and the others that depended upon me.
Then, just before cancer and the treatment for same combined to kill me temporarily a couple of times, the courage came and I started to write. Maybe it was a premonition of mortality; I don’t know. I picked up a very personal story that I had left off twenty years before, and wove a novel around the core of some personal historical facts. That was my first book. It is still unsold, although I hope it does not stay that way. Still, I had written a book.
After that, I wrote another one, which also has not sold. I have a treatment for a third novel which intrigues me, but I am currently writing a non-fiction book (Moores’s Law vs. Darwin’s Law) first because I am pretty sure that it will sell. Along the way, I started writing blog posts on technical subjects on one of my own blogs.
Somehow, that turned into writing columns for money. I’m currently writing about sixty columns a month (primarily) for the Mac, iPhone, and Tech sections of the technical blog at Blorge.com. It satisfies, I suppose, a desire for approval of my writing in a paid setting; last month, people loaded my columns a total of 37,000+ times. I don’t know if that’s good or not, but it’s growing every month and they have not chased me away yet.
Some people are compulsive eaters. I am a compulsive writer. I will write anything, whenever the urge strikes, and I have a huge number of pieces of paper and text files to prove it. How can you prove that you’re a writer? It’s easy. A writer writes. 🙂
When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, he bemoaned the fact that my uncle had written a book that would live long after he was gone and my Dad wished he had done the same.
Yet, my Dad’s lifework of paintings and photography left a beautiful legacy that I and others appreciate every day.
We all have something that defines our lives and yours is, with no doubt, writing and sharing yourself through your writing!
It is nice to know that something material will be left behind, though the immaterial thoughts of those that cared about you may be even better, though less concrete.
Interesting to read about your adventures. You may have found him on-line, or not, but Jerry Pournelle has an interesting web presence. He wrote for BYTE for many years and writes Science Fiction, as I’m sure you know. Always has interesting stuff. http://jerrypournelle.com/ I send in a “subscription” of about $20 a year and get to read some “extra” stuff. I have not been reading him much in the past few month.
Brent the Zomby on Plurk
I have met Jerry Pournelle several times, and read him in Byte for years. Unless he is writing with Larry Niven, he is not exactly my cup of tea in fiction. That said, the Niven / Pournelle book Mote in God’s Eye is one of my very favorite SF books. Jerry, on his own, as you say, is a super-geek, which is very cool. 🙂