So what do you do?
The age old question: What do you do? To which most people start their answer “I am…”, as though their job defines their identity.
I am a writer.
I can say that, now. Now that I’ve got a website with stories on it (well it will soon), stories which I’ve written. I can now say that I am a writer, and I feel that I am a writer.
My day job is something quite different: I’m a project manager for a financial services company.
But this website is about my writing.
When did you start writing?
When I was young (I’m guessing five or six). My Dad would read me bed-time stories, and then he started making up stories. He’d use the Thunderbirds wallpaper I had as inspiration and make up stories based on the pictures. He’d use a notepad to sketch out little illustrations. I was enthralled.
I don’t actually remember when I started writing stories, but before I was writing them I was making them up, flights of imagination, scribbling out stories in my school books. Most of the stories involved space ships, aliens, ray guns and explosions (lots of explosions). When I started writing stories I carried on that theme. Not much story (at the time), not much character, but lots of space ships and explosions.
At the age of 16 I wrote a story which ran to 64,000 words. It was a monster. I typed it on an Imperial 66 manual typewriter, single spaced, hardly any paragraph breaks. I’ve not read it since I wrote it, but I expect it is a real monster – ugly, lumbering, malformed. But I enjoyed writing it.
And then I stopped. I don’t know why I stopped, but at some point in my later teen years I stopped writing. I carried on reading stories, I carried on reading about writing, but I didn’t write another story for over thirty years.
When did you start writing again?
I think it was in 2011. My wife asked me what I really wanted to be, and without thinking I said “a writer.” And that’s when my writing started again. It’s taken four years to really get back into it. I started with short stories while ideas for bigger works turned over and over in my mind. Ideas became outlines, which became a draft, and is now heading rapidly towards the light of day. But more about that later.
What do you write?
What I write is inspired by what I enjoy. They say “write what you know,” and what I know is what I like: Dr Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Red Dwarf, Thunderbirds/Stingray/Captain Scarlet, Aliens, and so on. But more than just science fiction, good drama, good fiction; 24, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, American Pie. Okay, the last one’s not science fiction or drama, but comedy and humour are also important. I often infuriate my wife with my recitation of lines from Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, and more.