I’VE ALWAYS WRITTEN:
It was something that came somewhat naturally to me, and more importantly perhaps, it was something I’ve always enjoyed.
I used to write letters and handwritten cards to my Mom and Dad as a young child.
I remember in grade school using computer lab comic book software to write stories of dragons and knights, complete with flash art animations and images.
I even tried writing, illustrating, photocopying, and selling, a comic series about a Bruce Lee-esque ghost fighting the forces of evil. I think I sold two copies for 25 cents apiece. Not bad for my first foray into selling my writing.
So I may not have always been a ‘writer’, but I’ve always written.
My First Novel
On a family trip to Italy, when I was in the seventh grade, I bought a Moleskin from a small bookstore.
I had people telling me for years that I should try writing something more substantial, so I was confident and eager to try writing a novel.
I was obsessed with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings at the time (still am), so I figured something fantastical and medieval was right up my alley and would propel me immediately into stardom as some sort of boy wonder. I sat by the rocky swimming pool on the Amalfi Coast, ancient cliffs to my back and the Mediterranean Sea in front of me, and I wrote for the entirety of that trip.
The book was called Diabolic. It was the story of a young boy in a medieval fantasy setting at the time of a great ancient evil awakening. The boy, unbeknownst to himself, was the descendants of ancient wizards, and his story would unfold to reveal that he was the world’s only hope in defeating the ancient demonic forces.
So basically, some twisted amalgamation of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter…
I think I got 60 double-sided pages of writing into that Moleskin by the time the trip was over. But even then, I was my own biggest critic.
“Was I good enough?”
“Were my characters real enough?”
“Was my story worth reading?”
These are the thoughts that will consume every writer to some degree. It’s only natural, and later I’ll touch on how these thoughts still plague me, even today.
When it came to that Moleskin though, filled with my very first attempt at writing a novel, those thoughts got the best of me, and I moved on. Being a writer just wasn’t realistic.
So, I grew up, I threw aside those childish dreams, and while I still enjoyed writing, and still pursued it, I wasn’t eager to be a writer anymore. I finished high school and went off to college, equally as eager to get my degree and be a “business man” like so many friends and family around me.
That is, until around 2015, when that spark reignited.
Funnily enough, it wasn’t some “divine intervention” moment that drew me back to writing.
It was just writing, writing anything. I started keeping a journal around this time, to record stray thoughts and interesting tidbits of poetry that flashed across my mind.
My father, a man who is extraordinarily left-brained, analytical, and well-suited for the business world, asked me a favor. He was aware of my affinity for writing and wanted me to record some of the tidbits of “business knowledge” he had accrued over the years.
I still vividly remember the way he would eagerly tell me “write this down” whenever preaching business advice that had helped him become accomplished in that world.
And when all was said and done, he asked me a question: “Think we could turn this into a book and sell it?”
It was funny to come across that same question all those years later. I had to think before giving an answer. Ultimately, I didn’t want to write a self-help book. So, my answer was, “maybe, but I’m not your guy.”
But it did accomplish one thing, it planted a seed in my mind.