There were times when my thoughts would get me in trouble because sometimes the images became so real that I believed I could actually do some of the things I thought about. Other kids might dream of witches and magic, or space ships and aliens. My daydreams never ventured beyond the real events. True, sometimes they were of the past, when horse and wagons ruled the roadway, or knights who donned armor to go into battle, but my musings never added the part about the knight fighting the dragon.
Because of this practical nature of imagining things and the story that would slowly form from it, I would begin to see the details, the actions, the responses, and the further I took it, the more I began to believe I could do it. So at times I wandered where I shouldn't, climbed what I couldn't, tried things that were far beyond my capability. Needless to say, I spent a bit of time getting into trouble.
What does all this have to do with writing? When one reflects from an adult standpoint, they may see creativity and determination. The reality is that I was viewed as a menace, a whirlwind of trouble that often left disaster in my wake. When I started school, this was brought home intently because conformity was a greater asset than creativity. But at least in school, as my ability to read grew, so too did my ability to write. Unable to experience all of daydreams and adventures, I turned to writing about them instead. Suddenly I could become a policeman who saved the hostages; the doctor who cured the ill; the leader of the expedition to explore new frontiers; or the stranger who looked kindly upon the odd little child and understood her, encouraged her and took her in from the cold reality of loneliness. In other words, by writing, about real people in real situations, I didn't have to feel so all alone.
I don't know that I've changed my reasons for writing so much through the years. Through most my school years, I dreamed of writing for a living. I wanted to be a journalist, who traveled the world, ventured onto the battlefields to report from the soldiers point of view. Without a very well developed sense of fear, it never daunted me to think of traveling alone to far-flung places or into dangerous situation. Alas, reality stomped that dream too, relegating me to jobs rather than a career.
But one thing remained through all my life, the need to create stories from all my musings. For whatever reason, life seemed to offer me such a bevy of subjects, so I never really felt the need to expand into fantasy or improbable encounters. Except it may be that my subject matter doesn't hold enough sense of escapism to be something others care to read. I don't know. I know what I enjoy reading, John Steinbeck, the Bronte sisters, or Chris Bohjalian's tales of life, that sort of thing. So maybe it is only a matter of making a connection to the right place.
I cannot seem to change what I write to accommodate the latest trend. Writing stories about romance that never really happens or mysteries of corpses falling at a person's feet, never form in my mind so I cannot create a credible story from them. I write because of where my mind takes me in my visions and experiences, and I do it because I always have. Writing is perpetual challenge to improve it, it is an outlet that will always allow me to grow, so I can't stop.
I don't even have a little inspirational message to go along with my passion, or obsession. I just do it. I'd like to believe that some day, I'll find an audience who might appreciate my efforts, since I have dozens of completed manuscripts. But since I write in fulfillment of a lifelong habit, I don't know where my work might lead me. I'd love to have the confidence of others, to believe that there is some noble purpose in my work, but that's not what makes me write. I write to maintain a tenuous hold on the world and keep me grounded somewhere around reality.
Now if I can only figure out a good reason for writing, a little positive rationale to impress others and convince myself, I might make something of it.