Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why do 'I' write?

By Morgan Hawke (Guest Blogger)

www.DarkErotica.Net
www.DarkErotica.Blogspot.com

Truthfully? Because I couldn't stop if I tried. Everything I see, everything I do, everything I experience triggers a story in my head. It's kind of like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in that I'm constantly being distracted by every little thing, only I also seem to have the absolute focus of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder too. Basically I get a story idea from what's around me then quietly obsess on that idea -- to the exclusion of all else; people I'm with, bills that need to be paid... This obsession goes on for days, weeks, even months sometimes, and I quite literally can't think of anything else -- until I write it down. THEN my brain finally settles down and allows me to pay attention to the rest of the world. Until something else comes along to 'distract' me.

Sigh.

This is why I don't have cable on my TV. It's used purely as life-support for my DVD player and my VCR. I haven't watched TV programs (that aren't on DVD) in over six years.

Now then, if you want to know why I write 'stories'...? It started out as pure escapism. To say that my childhood sucked is an extreme understatement. Daddy was textbook sociopath, just like the guy on the TV series, "Dexter." Only Daddy didn't succeed in killing anyone. (For some reason I kept surviving.) Anyway... The safest place was out of sight, so books were my best friends, as was the space under my bed and my flashlight. When books weren't available, I had my imagination.

No one can shut the world out better than a child.

By the time I was fourteen, I was writing the better 'imaginings' down so I could 'think on them' more. When I was seventeen and a junior in high school, I decided to enter a region-wide short story contest on a whim, and wrote out a quick little horror story about a ghost dog. After-school sessions with a sympathetic English teacher helped me wrestle my grammar under control and I mailed it in. The story won the grand prize and was published in a small magazine.

It was seeing my name in print that made me realize that 'author' was the perfect profession for me -- the 'only' profession for me.

Unfortunately, this was back in 1980, before the PC and the internet were invented, so I had to learn the craft of writing the hard way. No word-processing or internet searching for tutorials for me. I had to hit the library and magazine racks for clues on how to write a proper story, and believe me, there wasn't much to find at all, and I had to use a typewriter. (I STILL hate that machine with a passion.) Today's aspiring author has it sooo much easier. (Lucky bastards...)

As an aside, Mom eventually divorced Daddy, but that didn't happen until the year after I won that writing contest.

Anyway... I guess you could say that the real reason I write is truthfully, childhood habit -- one I absolutely refuse to give up. Good thing I decided to make a career out of it, no?

Morgan Hawke

20 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan!

    Thanks for guesting with us today. I wanted to quickly say I'm sorry your post looks like a free verse poem. I really don't why it keeps loading like that. I kept reposting it and it just comes out that way every time. Maybe the universe is telling you to try your hand at poetry also.

    It sounds like a rough childhood fueled your creativity. It always seems to me some of the most interesting writers are the ones who've come from the most difficult backgrounds. Glad you're here. The fact that you;re a full time writer is unique also. I'm not sure, but you may be the only full time writer I know of. That must be a scary way to earn a living sometimes.

    I like typewriters. I love the romance of the mechanical keys whapping the paper and the image of the pulp writer sitting at a little table in a flop house with a bottle on the floor and a cigarette on the lip banging out the hairy chested detective and spicy adventure stories. Word processers are more practical.

    I remember in the early '90s. I used to have a big Wang. My wife liked it too.

    But that's another story.

    Garce

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  2. Greetings, Morgan!

    Welcome to the Grip. I loved your post -- a childhood habit! Well said.

    However, I think you've glossed over all the learning one has to do in order to make writing a career. There's the inspiration part, but without the perspiration you wouldn't be published.

    I'm glad that your horrid childhood didn't take away your belief in yourself.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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  3. By the way Lisabet - thanks for popping in and straightening up the text. I don;t know how you did it. Just that magic.

    Garce

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  4. Thank you for the invite, Garce!
    -- My childhood was rough, but happily the rest of my life has been rather excellent -- by comparison at least. *Wink!*

    I know for a fact that I am not the only full-time writer. Lots of us are. However, few of us actually live solely off their earnings. It IS scary, but there Are scarier ways to live. Try having a sociopath living in the house with you. On second thought -- Don't!

    I loved the romance of the typewriter too -- until I had to write a story on one and had to make corrections. Just Try to move a whole paragraph from one part of a story to another. *Shudder.*

    I LOVE my word processing program. Especially the Spell-Check part. Really.

    Oh, you had a big Wang? How nice! I had a big iron Remington that dated back to the '30s. The kind that wasn't electric. It was heavy and loud. Made the hands sore really fast too. *Grin.*

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hey, Lisbet!
    -- Yep a childhood habit. Proof positive that even in my 40's I'm still immature. *Grin.*

    I think you've glossed over all the learning one has to do in order to make writing a career. There's the inspiration part, but without the perspiration you wouldn't be published.

    That's where my OCD comes in. However, it's not cleaning I do obsessively, but writing. I LIVE at the computer. In fact, my desk, and the attendant bookshelves with my reference materials, have completely taken over what was supposed to be the dining room dead center on my apartment. I almost never sit on the living room couch.

    I'm glad that your horrid childhood didn't take away your belief in yourself.

    I think that my horrid childhood may have Given me my belief in myself. When one grows up doubting one's parents, the only person left to believe in IS yourself.

    Respectfully,
    Morgan Hawke

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  5. Morgan -

    You had the strength to take something horrible and make something good come out of it. I admire that.

    You're one of the few truly professional writers I know, meaning that it's your sole source of income. Getting there must have been hard work. Staying there must take even more force of will. That's a huge accomplishment. Congratulations on your success.

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  6. Thanks for sharing, Morgan. It's good to see you out and about again. I don't own a television, either. In fact, I haven't owned one for about a decade. Like you I watch all my shows on DVD after the writing is done.

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  7. Hey Kathleen!
    -- I think it was more pure stubbornness on my part than strength. I can be incredibly single-minded on certain things. Escaping the real one for a fictional one is one of them.

    Yes, it took hard work to get where I am, and more to stay where I am, but it didn't--and doesn't--feel like work at all. It feels more like I found an easy way to cheat the system, if you want the truth. I'm doing what I LOVE. That makes it more Play than work.

    I think anyone that does what they truly love for a living feels the same way -- like they're cheating somehow.

    Just to put things in perspective, doing what you love also means there are No Vacations or breaks because you're already doing what you would be doing if you were on vacation. In other words, every waking moment I have is spent on writing or researching for stories. There is no room in my life for things such as a Family or Social engagements. That's Not a life for just anyone.

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  8. Hi Devyn!
    -- Hurry up and tell them that I am NOT the only writer living of their earnings. You are too!

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  9. Dear Morgan,
    Writing is an art that not everyone has. Being able to pull those stories out of yourself - whether they come from good or bad is a true talent. About your comment about not taking time for yourself - I hope you do even though you are doing what you love. That helps keep you sane in a world that is most often not sane.
    I have to tell you and the other authors here on this blog that I love reading your (and their) books! Working 2 jobs, having 2 children, and going to school do not leave me much time and my escape is sitting down with a book that pulls me in and makes me forget about the world around me for a bit. Yes it's escapism but when I get my little bit of fantasy my reality really is better.
    Thank you for all those stories that crowd the inside of your head. I do appreciate them!
    Leah

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  10. Hi Morgan. Met you several years ago and have been a big fan since I discovered your work. (WRITE FASTER!!! LOL)

    Just wanted to say that from observation some of the best artists are those who have conflict and turmoil in their lives. That in itself does not make the artist great, but it can be a springboard that propels them into deeper work. So, although i would not wish what happened to you on anyone, I am glad you've used it to your benefit. (BTW, I'm a glass half-full kinda person. Can you tell? LOL)

    KEEP WRITING (please. :-)

    Denice

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  11. *waves* I popped over merely because I am a huge fan of Morgan's. My favorite book of all time is Victorious Star. I really enjoyed reading the post and will look around more, as some of the titles of other postings has me intrigued.

    I have a close friend who had a rougher childhood than most can even imagine. Only she can say if her father and other family members were sociopathic, though my guess is they were. She thought I would stop caring about her when she told me. She was wrong. I care unconditionally. But I know that it can take a lot of guts to mention childhood issues so thank you for sharing that Morgan. My friend is also a fan of yours. I think I'm the one who pointed her to your books *grins* Thank you for this post and thank you for being a most wonderful writer. *big big hugs*

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  12. Thanks for the background. Sorry your childhood sucked. Glad your life is rich now.

    I love your work--can't get enough of it. I would say write faster but since that's all you're doing, I don't see how you can. lol. Looking forward to whatever you have coming next. :)

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  13. Great blog, Morgan.
    Oddly, I was just thinking of throwing it in last night. Not for any particular reason, I was tired, on a deadline and just not happy with my manuscript. So I thought about quitting, and realized that even if I "quit" writing, writing will never quit me. Weird. (so once again, I swear never to sign a contract without a finished manuscript in hand!)

    I too had a brutal father, and add in a sister who practiced her own version of 'tough love.' I spent a lot of time in the closet or under the covers with a flashlight and a book or a notepad. While that might have shaped me, it doesn't rule me. Well, except for that compulsive need to write.

    Thanks again, and hoping to see something new from you soon!

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  14. Hi Leah!

    Writing is an art that not everyone has. Being able to pull those stories out of yourself - whether they come from good or bad is a true talent.

    I dunno... I see Talent as more of an Instinct, something you do during creative bursts that occasionally comes out perfect. However, I don't want 'occasionally,' perfect I want 'ALWAYS' perfect! LOL! This is why I see what I do as more of a Craft than an Arte. It's something I trained myself to do consistently, not something I do well only during creative bursts. (Perfectionist much? LOL!)

    I hope you do even though you are doing what you love. That helps keep you sane in a world that is most often not sane.

    Oops... I think it's a little too late for that. The last time I remember being 'sane' was when I was 11. *Wink.*

    ...my escape is sitting down with a book that pulls me in and makes me forget about the world around me for a bit. Yes it's escapism but when I get my little bit of fantasy my reality really is better.

    And that's the Real reason I write. To offer an escape to those who want one, even if it's only for an hour or two.

    Thank you for all those stories that crowd the inside of your head. I do appreciate them!

    You're very, very welcome, sweety.

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  15. Hi Denise!

    ...from observation some of the best artists are those who have conflict and turmoil in their lives.

    I've seen that too. I wonder if it's because the artist has been forced to look so hard at Reality that they work so hard to Change it, even if it's only in a story or a picture?

    Case in point...
    -- Because I know for a fact that happy endings rarely happen in Reality, I'm compelled to make one happen in my stories.

    I'm definitely a "glass half-full' girl too. *Grin.*

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  16. Hi Susan!
    -- Please tell you're friend that she's Not Alone. Sociopathy is a hell of a lot more common in the people around us than most think.

    The scary part isn't that your family members are, but that you might be yourself and not know. People like us are constantly looking for the holes in our hearts and heads that might prove that "WE" are as bad as They were.

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  17. Hey Joyroett,
    -- I'm glad you like my stories so much! I AM writing as fast as I can. LOL! I just need to focus on ONE story at a time instead of half-a-dozen at a time. Damned ADD... *Sigh~*

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  18. Hey Belinda,

    ...I thought about quitting, and realized that even if I "quit" writing, writing will never quit me. Weird.

    Sorry, sweety, clearly you were born to be a writer. LOL!

    I too had a brutal father, and add in a sister who practiced her own version of 'tough love.' ... While that might have shaped me, it doesn't rule me. Well, except for that compulsive need to write.

    We are so much alike, it's scary. *Hugs.* I guess you're just going to have to accept the fact that you are going to write whether you like it or not. *Wink.*

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  19. Hi Morgan,
    I'm a huge fan and was wondering when your next work will be published? Any idea? And any hints on it? How's Flight of the Titiana (sp) coming? I've read and reread the part you have on your website multiple times and it just makes me want MORE! I love what your mind comes up with.

    Thanks for sharing your talent.

    Jennifer K.

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  20. Morgan,

    I'm late coming to this post. I just wanted to say I've always enjoyed reading your insights into the process of writing fiction and this blog is just as informative and entertaining.

    Best,

    Ash

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