Am I a writer? Not by education.
Am I an author? Well, I have written a couple of books and self-published them on Amazon, so for some people that will mean that I am an author. However, I don’t think of myself as an author.
Do I think I will become the next publishing sensation? Absolutely, not! I know that will not happen. Do I expect to become rich with my writings? No! I have no overly-developed sense of grandeur, at least not in that respect. Do I even want to become a famous author? Not if I am recognized everywhere I go. Do I want like-minded people to buy and read my books? Of course I do. I think there may actually be quite a few readers out there that will enjoy my books, especially once they are warned not to expect them to be the status quo.
Am I a storyteller? Well, I do tell a story, maybe even several stories.
Am I a preacher? I know what I believe and I have done quite a lot of self-studying by reading first the Bible and then old-time sermons as well as many, many current and not-so-current doctrinal books. Not to mention the life-long learning at the feet of all of the preachers in my family – father, grandfather, brother – as well as many non-family preachers. To answer the question, no I am not a preacher. I might, however, slide some doctrine into my books, a-la George MacDonald. In fact, that is a given.
So, what am I?
Well, I am a person with a past, present and a future same as anyone else, who spends more time daydreaming about how I wish things were, than doing just about anything else. So, I started to think that maybe I should begin writing down these daydreams, at least for my own sake since I usually can’t remember them later. I would also like to be able to pass them down to my children and maybe grandchildren (I don’t have any, yet).
As I have been working on my family’s genealogy there are more times than I can count that I have found myself wishing that even one of my ancestors would have had the courage to write down their thoughts, their daily lives and their dreams, so that I could read them now centuries later. They may even have done so and had the misfortune to be survived by idiots who had no interest in such things and probably burned them or just threw them away as worthless. I cannot imagine something I would like to have more than a book, notebook, folder or even just a few pages written by one of my ancestors. Fiction or non-fiction, it does not matter. Who cares if they were not professional writers or were not popular at the time? Certainly not I.
To be truthful, I am a very stubborn person who is not willing to adapt my work to become more appealing to today’s reader. If I had wanted to be that kind of author, I would have gone to journalism college or I would study how to write a bestseller. That is not my goal. My goal is to write down my thoughts, my daydreams, in my own voice (not someone else’s approved opinion) in order to be able to speak to my children, grandchildren and anyone else who might find them interesting. I want them to be able to see me in what they are reading, not a sanitized version of me, not a brain-washed version of me, but me; the real me. If I talk funny, I want them to see that. If I express myself in a weird way, I want them to see that, because that is who I am. If I say non-politically correct things, if I say something that no one else would ever say – that is exactly the point. Being able to self-publish on Amazon means at least a certain level of preservation that a notebook in a chest of drawers will never accomplish.
So, you see I will never become rich with my writings; I might never even sell any of my books. Too late, I have sold at least two copies, maybe more by now. My point is that I wrote what I wanted, and most people probably won’t like it. However, some people just might, and those people are the ones I am writing for. Gasp! Some people might even want me to keep writing. Who knows!
Does this mean that I am content to be a mediocre writer; that my books will be full of spelling errors and non-coherent sentences? No! I want to put out a good and readable product. I do have several editors (at the moment I am blessed with three of them) that go through my books looking for errors in punctuation and grammar. I am horrible with commas, but I am a fair speller – it was the only subject in school that I ever got A’s. That’s not to say that I don’t make the occasional error in spelling, however I do try to avoid those. I do want to do the best I can, but without losing my own individual voice.
Next post I will be listing what it is that I don’t like in most of the books on the market today. These are the things I want to avoid in my own books, if I can.