Here is my response to the questions posed in E.M.’s Sunday Ramble Prompt #12
The first question, No. 1) When did you first discover your love of writing?
This was about during the 5th or 6th grade. I tried to write a book that was a rip-off of the Wizard of Oz, only my Dorothy was a beatnik (it was 1959, right?) and the tornado was a whirlwind of dust as he changed his bedsheets. Don’t analyze me. At the same time, I started writing letters. Weirdly, they were much like my blog posts in later life, and I always tried to be funny. I won’t even insult you by adding the hackneyed phrase, “with varying degrees of success.”
2.) Would you say that you found your imagination at a young age or when you became older? If you want to, share something you discovered with your imagination. (Be sure to copyright your post 🙂 )
I think my imagination grew along in step with my childhood development. In hindsight I recognize I had ADD–the distracted, daydreaming kind–so I guess I had ready-made access to my imagination. I was a poor student, but when I was a high school senior I took a creative writing class, and it was the one class I enjoyed and therefore never cut. One day the teacher leaned a push broom and a squeegee against the chalk board and told us to write about them. I thought it was stupid so my paper began with, “If by some sweep of the hand of God all the push brooms and squeegees were suddenly removed from the face of the Earth, it’s certain cataclysmic results would ensue. It went on, with lots of sarcasm and snark. I remember somewhere after all the planes falling out of the sky, the heads of plastic baby dolls would fall into the laps of hysterical children. The teach loved it and gave me an A, and submitted the piece to some magazine for English teachers, he told me. Despite being a cynical non-attendee type of student, I really liked how that made me feel.
I should add that despite my claims to the contrary at various times, a relatively short stint as a contributor to the Usenet group, misc.writing, was what really woke my writing instincts. Much as I hated a lot of the confrontational encounters with other people there, which at the time I thought of as a kind of casual meanness brought on by the anonymity on the Internet combined with childhood trauma of some sort, it was fun for me and posed challenges to my writing that I was happy to take on. The lesson there, by the way, was to learn to keep on keepin’ on despite not being “the best.”
3.) What is your favorite genre to write about? (Example: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, True Crime, etc.)
Seems to be Sci-Fi, maybe Fantasy, I guess. I try to be serious sometimes, with varying degrees of success.
4.) Do you ever get “writer’s block”? If so, do you have a reason of why it happens?
Yes, I do. And yes again, sort of. It’s not so much that I can’t think of something to write about, but that the language part of my brain is not interested. I can’t explain it any other way, but since photography is a hobby, as well as music, I go through periods where I’m not interested in writing but I become obsessed with taking pictures and/or modifying or correcting or whatever with Photoshop. There is a lot to this, I found, and the learning curve on Photoshop in particular is endless, I think. Otherwise I spend days or weeks at a time playing and writing tunes. Similarly, the endless learning curve. Sometimes I wish we could live to be 200, just so I could get somewhere with it.
So, during the picture phase, or the music phase, I can sit down to write but it just comes out so lumpy and disjointed I soon give up and go do something else. It’s as if my creativity wanders around inside my head, residing in one area of interest or another but only one at a time.
5.) Can you tell me something that I do not know that you do not mind sharing about your style of writing?
I write to escape.
To answer the question, what makes a writer, I would say, as I already have in comments under this same topic, a writer is of course anyone who writes for a living, or who writes and gets paid for it, regardless of how well they do it, or how they identify themselves, to give the pragmatic, common-sense answer.
That’s one kind of writer. But in addition, I think, anyone who writes at all, and for whom writing is a strong and lasting interest in their lives, let’s say, is a writer. The presence of the Internet and the ease of “publishing” writing in various platforms only muddies the issue. To ask if blogging is writing, you might as well ask if writing diary or journal entries (with paper and pen, either gel or turkey quill) is writing, or sending off long, well thought out letters to the editor once a week. It is, and that’s how I would answer that question if I were given sufficient latitude to wax maudlin. (It is my blog, after all, and I have so granted.)