As I am writing part three now I realize how much I do love writing. There is a significant difference between knowing and understanding and it can take quite a while before one turns into the other. Despite major lapses and setback I keep on writing, in one for or another.
In the previous post I’ve left off in 1997. Continuing on to 1998 writing once more became a major part of my life as I met my future wife Holly. Our relationship literally grew page upon page as we sent lengthy emails to each other — day after day. We have printouts of many of those messages and they number into the hundreds. As a result my English skills drastically improved which in turn fostered our relationship. Fast forward to 2001 and my move to America. As mentioned prior with that also came a long lost sense of adventure and new which quickly rekindled my desire to write. I pitched a few articles to local newspapers but was briskly turned down. Worse, my ideas were taken and handed over to in-house writers. That was my first foray into US publishing, decidedly very different from my experiences back in Germany (where I was given opportunities from the get-go). Nevertheless, I had brought several of my old articles with me and began translating them into English. I also started working for various translation (or internationalization) companies and for a short period of time even found my way back in to the video game industry as an editor of German translations for various games and official websites.
Eventually I created Alternate:Words. At first it served simply as a portfolio of my previous articles and as a means of offering writing and editing services. However, opportunities kept opening up in other areas thus I returned to the IT world once more (with a tremendously successful experience nevertheless). During that time I kept Alternate:Words alive and eventually something I longed for years earlier became a reality when blogs appeared. I installed the first version of WordPress but didn’t really do much with it until I published my “Infiltrator”? CD (called a “Musicnovel”?) and began posting about airplay and reviews of it. After some time I felt I was not really taking advantage of the format turned Alternate:Words into what it is today — or was supposed to be. If you’ve followed along over the years you may have seen short stories appear,and disappear again, various forms of poetry styles posted as well as occasional musings. At first I posted quite regularly, if you look through the archives there are barely any gaps — except for posts I’ve move to other blogs reasoning they’d be better suited on their own blogs. Thus Fabula Brevis came and went, a blog I initially filled with short stories and flash fiction. Cognizant Dreamer has come, and gone again, which was the same concept under a more poignant name. I even started a blog for another novel idea I’ve conceived the past few years — Lucian the Seeker. And then there is Cinematic Toys meant for postings about my toy photography — also in dire need of any updates.
Of course I only shared the most relevant bits of what has happened over the years and the question now stands as to why my dream of writing a novel has not progressed much, aside from responsibilities demanding their dues. That leads me back to the beginning of this series of posts and the question of what was the motivation for that dream? For me the motivation back then was and still is the desire to explore, to uncover the extraordinary behind the ordinary, the vast realm of imagination.But truth be told I am not a novel reader. In all honesty most novels simply bore me. I’d say that many decent novels would make great short stories as they tend to get lost in details ans lose pace and focus. And that’s the key for my future endeavors.
I grew up reading mostly short stories (I actually have read less then two dozen full length novels my whole life), watching episodes on TV and listening to 60 minute stories on tape. Maybe a case for ADD could be made, I certainly had the signs growing up, but I’d argue that this is what I really enjoy. And there is that little important word — joy. It’s not just fun, it’s joy. And with that joy comes love. I love writing, but whatever I write is done in a pursuit of well paced prose and carefully chosen words. I don’t like waste, least to waste time.
Now the question is what to make of it all? When I wrote articles and saw them in print afterward there was a sense of pride, of accomplishment, of content. As I said in the preceding post when I was first exposed to the web I was quite negative about it. While my overall disposition has changed, as a writer I am still reluctant. Sure, there are plenty of examples of successful web writers out there (my wife being one of them), but for me as someone who is more of an observer than an approacher I find it not only difficult but also demotivating to simply push my work out to a global audience without a certain reward. Of course obstacles are there to be overcome but an honest evaluation of one’s personality has to come into play as well.
Considering what I shared to this point I concluded that my dream was in need of evolving. What was simply a child’s dream has to be considered in light of advances in publishing as well as a clearer understanding of what I enjoy and love. I am now considering e-publishing foremost and am working on a concept for a series of short stories, or episodes as I call them. Every story idea I’ve developed to this point is predestined to be episodic, from my original science fiction story to my recent steampunk(ish) project all the way to my “Infiltrator”? musicnovel. I’ve also talked about my love of music before so I consider combining episodes with specifically written compositions. Adding in a few illustrations shall round out the whole concept. And of course I’d very much enjoy writing articles for (paper) magazines again. That is the goal, that is the dream once held evolved and brought from the past to the present.
What about Alternate:Words? It has a small audience and that is enough for me to keep posting on it, how regularly only time will tell. Part of the problem has been that I’ve quite literally written myself into a corner. I enjoy photography a lot but I had made it a rule to only post if I had an image available. I am abandoning this rule. There may be posts without images in the future. There’ll probably be less haikus as they were often the result of the “image needed”? rule. I still write poetry but it’s about prose more than it is about meter when I write. And while consistency is great it must be in support and not in competition with the actual goal. And of course whatever may be useful and encouraging to other writers and creatives I’ll keep posting here as well.
Do you maybe feel that a long held dream has somehow been stuck in time? Take a few moments, days, weeks and analyze what the underlying love is that formed that dream. Maybe your dream is in need of evolving as well. And then put it out there.