Reading and writing have always been an essential part of my life, some of my fondest memories are of doing both over the years. I discovered fantasy quite young, like many of us my gateway was J.R.R. Tolkien, I was a precocious little fellow and read The Hobbit at around 10, and then looked for more and found the Lord of the Rings, and then every word I could read from him, The Silmarillian, Unfinished Tales, and then I looked for everything I could find like it, and then fantasy in general.
Don’t get me wrong, I read everything, science fiction, biography, historical and contemporary fiction, and once I locked myself in the garage by mistake one day I even read an entire book on palmistry, but fantasy really stuck. Then, on my 13th birthday I was introduced to fantasy role-playing through the game of Dungeons & Dragons, and from there my interests widened. I started building my own world and started scribbling short stories at the same time, and then started to bring the two together.
I’ve never quit writing, role-playing and world-building, but the writing part was put on the back burner a lot. My time in the Air Force called for a distinctly different style of writing and I always found it creeping into my work, and a modern technical writing style coupled with bullet statements is hardly the proper format for epic fantasy. But, when I could I scribbled noted and snippets in notebooks, and then I discovered computers.
The first was a Commodore 64, and I spent a couple of years typing all of my notes into it, only to turn around a few years later to have to type it all over again into my first PC. There was a great deal of time lost I guess, but as I typed it all in again I expanded ideas and updated things. Over the years my writing voice changed and I had to jigsaw all of the pieces of stories and styles together and then start the work of smoothing them all out into a single coherent telling of a story. That’s taken a long time as well, but also time well spent.
Now I’m retired, and at 43 I have a lot of productive writing years ahead of me, and now is the time to see what I have in me. I don’t claim to be a great writer, lets understand that right away, I am at best a dedicated amateur with hopes of one day becoming published. My opinions about writing as a whole are simply that, my opinions and bear no great weight in any circles. This doesn’t stop me from having opinions though, and those that know me will tell you that I have an opinion about nearly anything you’d care to mention. With this small disclaimer in mind, what is writing to me?
Creativity is important to me, I am at my happiest when I am writing a story, drawing a map, or even tinkering with the pages of this site (as the rest of the staff will tell you is nearly always). I have told stories about places that didn’t exist since I was old enough to talk and writing them since I learned how to stretch letters into words and sentences. I’ve taken every journalism and composition class that I could and for better or for worse I consider myself at least an adequate writer.
Far too many people think that they cannot write, and this to me is a shame. I don’t know who it was that said that every person had at least one great story in them, but I have the deep-seated belief that they are right. Anyone can tell a story, and if you can tell a story then the next logical step is to put it on paper. To hell with the grammar, scroo spelling, just write the story down. Writing is like most other things, the more you do it, the better you get.
© 2009, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.