top of page

About Me: Why I Started Writing

I find myself drawn to writing science fiction for a bunch of reasons. The main thing is that it give me a realm where imagination is the only limit to the adventure I can find. If you're interested in the why behind the why, here goes...

Perspective: Why I Started Writing

The following may sound depressing, and while some of it is, I do NOT want sympathy. I have a very fulfilling life, in part due to writing, but more so because of the people around me. Despite all the horrible things that plague humanity, the world offers great beauty if you just look for it.

The gist: Sci-Fi gives me wings while freeing my mind.



MY SHACKLES

As the tendrils of chronic illness began to tighten their grip on my life, I found myself desperately seeking an escape, a way to elude the confines of a body and mind that were betraying me. As each month passed, I'd get a new symptom and I had no idea when or where the extent of my illness would bottom out...if it ever would.

Those early years were dark times for me. I was depressed, angry, afraid, and confused. We didn't have an answer as to what was wrong with me. All we knew was that things were getting worse. The scarier symptoms included

  • Muscle Spasms,

  • Muscle Weakness,

  • Impaired Thinking,

  • Fatigue,

  • Passing Out, and

  • Pain.

Basically, my body was shutting down, and my mind with it.

Note: I'm generally a happy man who acknowledges the things I have over those I don't.



ESCAPE

The written words helped me escape my depressing and downright scary situation. Escapism is often referred to as a negative thing. Let me tell you that for those in chronic pain and with crippling symptoms, escapism is as healthy a way to spend your time as it come. It gives us a break from the continuous challenges we face.

Sci-Fi became my way of breaking from the dull prison I found myself in. I could take a metaphorical starship anywhere my mind carried me. I could live through the characters. I could build a world in which I was happy.

FYI: I'm as lucky a man as they come because I can do what I want.



THERAPEUTIC MINDSET

For me, writing is a form of therapy. When my legs refuse to carry the weight of my body, my mind journeys to distant stars, where the laws of known physics bend. In my first novel, DAY AFTER INFINITY, I wrote about a man who dealt with the challenge of losing himself. His body is slowly replaced and his mind has to shift to accommodate the change.

The act of crafting new worlds and characters becomes a soothing tool for my mind. It puts me into a state of flow that I struggle to find in other ways. My fingers follow the random wandering fantasies that spill from me. Unlike my prior jobs, where the rigidity of logic was central, writing Sci-Fi could be fluid.

Note: There is no substitute for real therapy.



ACHIEVEMENT

I spent the majority of my life achieving more and more. From overcoming early-life learning challenges to earning a PhD and obtaining professorship at a top university, I've taken pride in my ability to do things. Now, with limited energy and a mind that often fails me, I need a flexible activity that can partially fill my need to do something. I can tap the keyboard when I have a good hour.

Pride: Finding a sense of self-worth through writing is one of many keys for maintaining mental health.



PUNISHING PROTAGONISTS

The pain I endure on a daily basis (worse than pulling my wisdom teeth) becomes more bearable when I torment my characters. The more I subject them to torture, the better I feel. I know. It sounds sadistic. Having said that, taking out my demonic side on fictional characters is far better than lashing out at real people.

Through adversity, my characters constantly commiserate with me. They struggle as much as I do. They feel deeply. I am not alone.

Most importantly, their pain becomes more poignant and obvious than my own. This takes the focus off my own body and places it in a fictional box.



HUMOR AS A PANACEA

Amidst my characters' torment, humor is a constant thread. Laughter, whether because of a twisted suicide joke or a wholesome anecdote, is a lifeline to a positive mindset. Writing humor into my novels is a way of injecting levity into a life that could easily become full of shadows. Through an internal loop of jokes, of which only a few make it to the page, I keep a positive attitude.



RITUAL AND HEALING

The tactile sensation of my fingers tapping across the keyboard becomes a ritual of calmness. I've developed a habit that I can easily slide into. The more I do it, the easier it becomes. My heart rate slows. My muscles relax. The spasms ease up. Ignoring the pain comes naturally.

My internal world is a better place because of the positive feedback loop between story and machine. Nowadays, I can slide into the habitual behavior, which reduces my stress. Reducing stress is particularly important for someone like me whose nervous system is screwed up.

Structure: By relaxing into a steady routine, I feel like I can regain some control over my life.



CREATIVE OUTLET

The act of storytelling is a reflection of the creative gene that has afflicted me since childhood. In the days of make-believe and the twilight hours spent as a tween with my nose buried in books, I discovered the magic of stories. I was an off-the-cuff dungeon master, telling impromptu tales in elaborate worlds for my friends. I'm lucky to have had those earlier forms of storytelling because they help me with the worlds and characters I live in these days.

Back in the days when my mind and body were at their full health, I shunted my creativity into advancing earthquake seismology as a professor and inventing tech as a startup founder. I was always happiest when I produced something new. Yes, physics, math, coding, and teaching are creative outlets.

Now, with my mind foggy for most of the day and my once brilliant mind diminished in comparison, I need an outlet for the creative chaos that spins the winding hamster wheel in my mind. I can only imagine how much crazy stuff would bounce around in my head without a creative outlet.

Fortune: There is no wealth greater than health and love. Everything else is gravy.



LOOKING FORWARD

My future is uncertain. My health is uncertain. My mind is uncertain. What is certain is that I can keep plugging away at stories. They may be bad. They may be great. No matter what, they'll help me be closer to the man I want to be.


 

As always, I appreciate your support of self-publishing and indie authors. In the name of putting myself out there, here are a few of my works.



Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page