• Douglas Sharp

Why I Write

So, I decided to bite the bullet and start a blog. It’s something that I’ve hesitated to do because its puts me out there in a much more personal way.  When I write my books, I put myself into them but it’s not the same as writing this.  In my books, I can hide behind characters, stories, and other things that make it easier to express myself.  With this blog, it’s all about what’s in my mind and what I think.  I’ve decided to focus most of my blog posts on writing and the way I write.

There are many topics that I will go over.  I will address how I come up with ideas for books, the way I build characters, world building, how I write the story itself, and many other things to do with the writing process.  As I thought about doing this blog, I realized that it would help me improve my writing.  I’ve been to several high schools and given lectures on writing to English classes and each time I’ve done this, I’ve learned more about me and my writing process.  However, I will not be going into any of those subjects with this post.

The focus of this post will be imagination and why I write.  Stories are an essential part of the human experience.  Throughout history, people have told stories, both true and false.  We sit down and talk to each other on a daily basis, sharing stories from our lives.  We tell our children stories of ourselves and our parents, even passing on the stories we heard about other ancestors.  Stories connect us in a way that few other things can.  Sharing our experiences and hearing the experiences of others is an important part of human development.

Many of the stories we tell are not real.  We make up stories of monsters, heroes, and great deeds that may have never been done, but just because they’re not real doesn’t make them unimportant.  These stories contain examples of virtues and vices, of traits that we may wish we had in ourselves and qualities that represents the best and worst of mankind.  These stories come from a place in our mind we called the imagination.  This is the place we can go within ourselves to become someone else and to be the person we wish we were.

As a child, I wandered the red rock hills around a town called Montezuma Creek.  I was most often alone and I would let my imagination play.  I would be the hero in the stories that I would make up and I could do marvelous things to help many people.  This was the place where my imagination grew and developed into what it is today.  Imagination is like any other skill or trait we may have.  If we do not use it and practice with it, it will remain weak.  The stories I came up with out in those hills would be considered trash if I put them in books, but within that unpublishable collage of ideas there were stars that my brain stored away.  When I decided I wanted to write, it was those ideas that flowed into the top of my brain storming.  Because I had used my imagination so much and read the many books of other people’s imaginations, I was ready to start my journey is a writer.  My mind was prepared to share the stories in a way that others would enjoy.  This is why I write.

I enjoy writing but the most pleasure I get from my work is when I meet someone who’s read my books and wants to talk about my characters or my story.  The fact that they have enjoyed my efforts is the greatest feeling in the world.  I write for other people to lose themselves in a world away from their own. I write to connect with others in a uniquely human way.  No other species reads or writes.  Connecting to another person through a book is something only humans will experience.  A book can be more impactful on a person than any other source, even the fantasy or science fiction I write.

I’ll be honest; I don’t enjoy most of what is considered classic literature.  I find more insight into the human condition from the fantasy books I love to read than many of the books that are recommended in must read lists.  Books have touched me in ways that I cannot completely understand and I want to be able to do that for someone else.  Books take the imagination to a place that the person could never go on their own.  Books are fuel for our imagination and allow it to draw the picture themselves.  Our imaginations feed on the words and are able to emulate the experience on the pages.  While books can never replace actual experiences, they give us an insight into what it may be like to be somebody else.

I write because I want to touch someone as I have been touched.  I write because I want people to feel what I have felt.  I write because books are important to me and I want to help in the effort to keep books important to everyone.  As an author, I can impact people in a way that may help them get through hard times.  I can inspire people to do greater things.  My work can help others find meaning in their lives.  My imagination grew because of hard times, but those times can be turned into something great and books helped me get to where I am today.  I want to pass on what I learned and help those as I was helped.

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