Why not play music, make a film or be a game developer. The key for me is imagination. Although music, film and gaming have their own magic, giving people the recipes to make their own imaginary banquets is something special again.
In a sense, characters belong to the reader as well as the writer, much like having acquaintances whose actions of course we have little control over. I like to think I write with respect for the reader in mind. I don’t feel this is in conflict with an artistic commitment to be free of popular or commercial influences; it’s more of a guideline to assist with staying within the bounds of reason or good taste. I sometimes have to rein the fast gallop back to a working trot, listening instead to the reader looking over my shoulder.
When I start reading a novel I feel there’s a bond of trust I’m entering into – an expectation that I’ll be going on a journey with the writer at the helm. So now in return I aspire to meet that expectation when I write.
As a side note to this, Life Before Death had its own motivation for being written. It was more out of loyalty than fulfilling any personal dream. It is a heavily fictionalized memoir, the purpose of which is to deliver the primary message contained in the book.
I make no excuses for the controversial nature of its content. It’s life as it happened. Much like that saying, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
One benefit writing a novel has given me is a goal to keep on writing after finding I enjoy it so much. Unlocking the imagination and finding an outlet for it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my altogether too short life. The bouncy puppy of inspiration must be played with or it will burst.
I highly recommend writing in all its forms to anyone – keeping a diary; jotting down a simple rhyme – even scribbling away with your personal history as I have done. Apart from being a lot of fun it can have a therapeutic effect.
I am very thankful for it.