The path of the writer.

By on January 4, 2012

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.


9 Responses to “The path of the writer.”

  1. What can I say besides, “Excellent post, sir.” Perhaps only true writers will really understand.

  2. kay shostak says:

    You hit it on the head with being a “storyteller”. You love and appreciate the story and it shows in your writing.

  3. Another great post, Mr Romyn. So much of what you say is how I feel, to the point of me wanting to shout, “Yeah! Yeah! What HE said!”
    I’ve spent years course-correcting my life in order to be what I really am, instead of supressing it and pretending it wasn’t there in favour of a more practical path. I did this to please others who would only tell me it couldn’t be done; that life was about forgetting dreams and getting on with it. But that is cowardly bullshit. Life is all about finding your calling, and seeing it through. I’m not particularly religious, but I heard a phrase once that I’ve always remembered: “What you have is God’s gift to you. What you DO with what you have is your gift to God.”

  4. Great post Luke! As a writer, I’m familair with what the mind conjurs up. Scares the crap out of me at times. Especially since I never know when or where inspiration will strike next. You are always welcome to guest blog at I’m a WCP author also. My only requirement is that the blog post contain an element from the periodic table. I loved your story with carbon monoxide and the twist with the smokers. Happy New Year, Luke!

  5. Niki Savage says:

    This post spoke to my soul. Thank you.

  6. Nicole says:

    Very true…funny question too. I write because I always have…back when I wrote stories about my stuffed animals…I was writing even when I was makin up stories while I was in PE with friends…when I was making up stories in grade school. I couldn’t do anything else!

  7. Really nicely said Luke. It’s funny but sometime the only way to sort out what’s in my head is to write.

  8. Rebecca Emin says:

    I bet people who ask you that question are not writers themselves. If they are writers, they wouldn’t have to ask.

    I wonder how many other writers will be nodding as they read through your response!

  9. Katherine says:

    Great answer to a question that any writer would find hard to answer. I write because I have to. The words pile up in my brain at night and if I don’t get them out, then I cannot fall asleep. At times I wake up and sleep refuses to return until I give life to stories running through my head. And I feel blessed by that.

    Congratulations for reaching that place where people care enough to ask why you write. As Rebecca noted, the ones that ask probably don’t get it or truly care, but it is something that the writers out there appreciate and give nod to you for.

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