July 28, 2013

Writing as a lifelong passion

Writing is addictive; there is no denying that.

If you’ve ever caught the writing bug, you know what I mean: An idea enters your mind, and you can’t dislodge until you write it down, put into a creative format that satisfies your personal guidelines and attracts the attention of others.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. I’d read all the time as a youngster, and that habit sparked my own interest in putting words on page and creating my own worlds of adventure where good battled evil in so many ways.

I wrote my first novel while in high school, another shortly after college while working in retail management and several short stories that helped me collect an abundance of rejection slips from magazines and journals along the way.

But life then took over, and I turned my attention to work and family. There seemed no time to enjoy this wonderful pastime I thought would one day carry me to the levels of Ernest Hemingway, John Updike and Raymond Carver as one of America’s great serious authors.

I found solace after leaving the retail industry and starting a career in teaching and a second in journalism. I landed a part-time job with the Press-Republican as a sports reporter in 1988, and I’ve been there ever since, following my dream as a writer, though far removed from the world of publishing giants.

Something happened seven, eight years ago. I can’t put my finger on what exactly, but I started to write creatively again. I began a novel based on a thought I had first considered maybe four decades earlier: What would humankind do if someone came up with the secret to longevity? What if people lived not for decades but for centuries? How could civilization balance a world’s population where people did not grow old and die?

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