I've wanted to write fiction my entire life. There have always been snippets of make-believe in my head, yet I never did much about them. There was one exception: I wrote two short stories way back in 1980 and naively packed them off to magazines. They weren't very impressed—my packages came back by the end of that week. Thus rebuked, I moved along with life. Writing wasn't for me, it seemed, not then. I do it today for fun, and I refuse to harbor any illusions of financial success or celebrity. Creating and self-publishing is great entertainment and fun, and that's enough for me.
Why now, at my age? Why not? In 2012, at the urging of a few army veterans with whom I served, I was finally motivated to try it again, so I sat down to write a memoir of my time in Vietnam. I read many Vietnam memoirs, researching the what, why and how of it all. Some works were good—two were awful—most were at least worthy of publication in our new world of e-books, printing-on-demand and self-publishing. Six weeks after putting fingers to keyboard, a rawest of drafts was realized. I had written a book. Then I read my masterpiece and was not satisfied. During the two years since, I have relearned long-forgotten written grammar and punctuation rules, and I've made many rewrites of my work. Then I made more rewrites. And then I made even more. I finally arrived at a point that I was satisfied enough to stop; the rewrite process could have gone on ad infinitum.
The appellation of author, when I use it referring to myself, is troubling. There are so many very talented folks who skillfully weave words in a fashion that readers clamor to consume, and they've been doing so all their lives. My discomfort is exacerbated by writing successes within my family. I realize that a talent may not be inherited, but I am convinced the desire to express oneself using the written word is. However, I recognize that I wrote a book; therefore, I am an author. I'm a writer because I write—it doesn't matter my purpose. I will never be confused with a wordsmith, and it's certainly not great literature I write; I merely tell a story.
It is a good place, this personal creative corner of the cosmos.