A recent blog post by Kris Rusch posed this question to me. Unlike I usually do, I’m going to talk first and post the link to her article at the end. You can scroll to the link if you want to read her article first, but I’m going to ask that you don’t.
Do you remember when your first began to write short stories, or fiction of any kind for something other than a school class? Do you remember why you did or what inspired you to write whatever you wrote?
I was born with a creative mind, and my parents encouraged my creativity. I grew up in the 1950s, before all the technology we have today existed, before Color TV, before stereo, when vacuum tubes reigned in electronics and the transistor was just being discovered. My dad worked, my mom stayed at home with my sister (two years younger) and I. Both my parents had high school educations but nothing beyond that.
At the time the only books for kids were, well… kids’ books. YA books were pretty much nonexistent until my pre-teen and teen years, and until we got our first TV in the early ’50s, my sister and I had to learn how to amuse ourselves. I have a few fleeting memories of some of the things we did, but only snippets.
There were not a whole lot of TV programs for kids yet, either, although one of my favorites was “Captain Midnight.” It was on radio first, but I wasn’t a radio listener at that young age, and I don’t think we even knew about the program (not that my parents would have cared for it). That TV show, I believe, was what started my love of science fiction, or at least gave me strong push that way.
I don’t recall exactly when I began to read novels, but all I read for pleasure was sci-fi, and the only non-sci-fi I read was for school. I was not writing anything sci-fi, only a couple of short stories for school. I didn’t begin writing any fiction until high school, and none of it was what I’d call “significant” in any way, but my mind was at least creative—and I did have fun writing what I did write. (You have to realize as well that “creative writing” was not taught in my high school.)
So where am I going with all this? Well, I’m leading up to Kris Rusch’s article and how she talks about having fun writing. If I growing up in today’s world, my approach to writing might be a lot different.
We write to express ourselves, to let loose our imagination. We write because we enjoy doing so, because it’s fun. Even if you write to make money from your writing, it should still be fun. Of course, if writing is how you earn your living and it’s not fun…
I’m a few months away from retirement (from a non-writing-related job), and I expect to have time to write all those novels I’ve had in my head or partially “on paper” for the past many years. And I plan to have fun writing them!
Now you can read Kris Rusch’s article. She delves into this fun thing in a lot more detail. And she inspires me to seek out more fun in my writing life. I hope she inspires you to do likewise.