I woke up early today and quickly got to work on my writing projects. This includes reading for revisions, worldbuilding, outlining, and planning scenes. I was on fire this morning. I was able to get so much work done and was consistently inspired enough to feel truly in sync with my decision to focus so much of my time and mental energy into writing. This made me think, why?
Why do I do this? Why do I want to become a published author so strongly? What is it that draws me to the written word?
As I mentioned in my About section, I owe my dedication to writing to one book in particular. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.
The Alchemist focuses on a young boy’s journey through life as he struggles to discover his personal legend, the reason for which he was put on Earth – his destiny. There are many ways to discover your own personal legend, many identifying marks.
- Your personal legend is usually something you’re already fairly good at, but as you try and realize your personal legend it becomes more difficult. – It’s during this time that a person is most apt to fail at their personal legend.
- “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
- Paulo Coelho talks repeatedly through the novel about omens, signs in nature and your everyday life that are meant to guide you in completing your personal legend.
I can remember spending my entire childhood placing myself in the universe of comic books, movies, video game, books, and every other creative medium I could find. I would fill notebooks with detailed character summaries and lists of basic plots. I was basically doing the written version of what happened in the movie “Pleasantville.”
When I read The Alchemist and came to the section detailing that first bullet point, I realized that was exactly what I was doing all these years when I placed myself in these worlds.
My love from fantasy was really just a major influence of my older brother. He had a deep fascination for the Lord of the Rings and the entirety of J.R.R Tolkien’s works. Naturally, when I really dug into reading and went to a bookstore looking for a new book, I immediately went to the Fantasy/SciFi section.
That was only the beginning.
I devoured page after page, book after book. Each one leaving me more and more satisfied and sure of my decision to bring a world of my own into existence through my writing.
Writing gives me the ability to take the dreams and made up could have beens that float around in my head and share them with the world. Whether or not the world will enjoy what I have to write is another matter entirely. It took more than two years for me to distill my thoughts and focus on a singular concept that kept it’s form when put to the test.
This concept, this idea, coalesced into the epic trilogy and slew of short stories that has been my main focus for the last year and a half. Now that I have finished the first book and am in the midst of the first short story I realize the depth and layers of this world I created. A living, breathing world with characters that have their own thoughts, hopes and dreams. A rich, detailed history filled with conflict, love, and world-changing events. Religions, culture, whole nations fleshed out to small details.
That’s what writing boils down to. Telling a story about a world you imagined and lived in.
Patrick Rothfuss once said something profound and wise. Stories – not opposable thumbs, language, intellect, or any of a number of other things – are what separate man from animal. Going back millenia to the earliest forms of civilization and humanity was telling stories, whether it was as simple as the story of a day’s hunt and forage for food or as complex as the Greek myths involving Zeus and the other Olympians. Everything boils down to a good story told from one person to another.
I write because it’s in my blood. If I didn’t write, I’d tell my stories.
It’s who I am.