The path of the writer.

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The question I always inevitably get asked is: “What made you want to become a writer?”

This is an incredibly odd inquiry. Why not ask me why I want to walk on two legs instead of flapping around the ocean like a penguin? I am a writer. I have not become a writer, nor have I somehow learned some secret which nobody else knows.

Perhaps it would be easier explained by me calling myself a storyteller. I have, since emerging from my mother’s womb, been a storyteller. This does not mean I have lied and created stories about who I am or what I do. Reality is still firmly in place for me, and those who know me will tell you I am one of the bluntest and most honest people around. I say it how it is.

No, being a storyteller is something else completely. Imagination has constantly battled within me to break free of the confines of my mind, and it was only when I found the release of writing that I realized what my true calling was.

I remember lying awake at night, creating worlds within my mind, stories I fled into, realms no other could enter. This was my escape from things I had no control over, especially after my father was killed and I began to lose control of my external world – but that’s another story altogether.

These imaginary lands were my escape. Words weren’t my expression then, merely imagination, and I exercised it innately in ways I am astounded I was able to tap into. I was then able to turn these realms into words, another skill I have always found simple.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have my head up my ass and think I know all the answers, because there’s a mountain of stuff for me yet to learn. I’m not blind to reality and know my weaknesses even more than my strengths. I work daily to learn more and more about my craft in the hopes that one day my words might rise up to sit beside those of the greats. What I am saying is that the passion was always there, for as long as I can recall.

I suppose actors might go through similar experiences, as would anyone in the arts. There is a fire inside that burns beyond the barriers that hold others back. There is no time limit, no final goal, merely the need to create more and more, hoping each one is better than the last. Because there is no going back, no quitting, no matter how hard the road seems and regardless of how many tears are shed along the way.

I am a writer. There is no other way.

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