Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why I Do What I Do

I was asked why I write.
My instant reaction was to become somewhat smug, believing it a simple question; so simple, I wondered why even ask. And then I attempted to put it into words. I couldn’t, not easily anyhow.
The question was asked of me a couple of days ago and I’m just now to the point that I might be able to make sense of my own thoughts on it – thoughts that meandered through my head. And when I say ‘meandered’, I mean it; sort of like sperm with low motility bumping into one another and never fertilizing a solitary solid answer. That said, it should be clear enough that these tidbits came to me in no specific order.
It would be nice to be the next John Grisham, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, James Patterson or any of the other fiction writers that have achieved the sharpest point of the commercial literary pyramid. So, yes, I did think about celebrity and money; but was it the reason that I began writing fiction? I can’t say for sure. Maybe – buried, of course, beneath layers of more noble reasons. But, was it the nexus, the sprouting seed that began the process? It couldn’t have been. There are many other ways to achieve fame and fortune and possibly much easier.
There is a little Walter Mitty in all of us. I’m sure of that, especially in our formative years. We all fantasize of being celebrated heroes, fireman pulling people from burning buildings, soldiers carrying wounded buddies out of harm’s way, or just the handsome guy that has impeccable timing, casually tossing out perfect pick-up lines during ladies night at a bar.
I’ve always had a problem with becoming bored quite easily. Whenever I found myself unable to escape a situation, trapped by preachers, teachers, bosses, or anyone else holding sway on my time, I’ve opted to retreat into my imagination as a defense mechanism. It’s probably necessary to mention, too, that, at some point I always regretted not listening during those meetings, classes or services, because there was always a test to follow, and all I could remember were bits and pieces. But, here’s the good part; I could remember in vivid detail the stories I created during those flights of fantasy.
This process always came to me quite easily and naturally. As an example: I’m sitting in a sales meeting and our manager is droning on and on about promotions, percentages, and yada-yada-yada. I notice that the manager seems especially nervous about something. From that, otherwise, inconsequential thing my head begins spinning out back story that his nervousness is at the mid-point of a story arc that ends in his eventual conviction for embezzling company funds that someone figured out and is holding over his head, blackmailing him. And, maybe, at that very moment, while conducting a sales meeting, he is also considering murder. Or, that the company and law enforcement are aware and closing in on him.
This is a true story. I didn’t fabricate the example. Oh, wait; the sales meeting was real, not the embezzlement thing. That was just me letting my imagination do its thing while enduring another God-awful meeting. The truth of that particular situation was that the manager was about to be fired. I’d have been nervous, too.
Still, the notion of writing narrative and dialogue to tell expanded versions of these infant scenarios did not occur to me until I was in my mid-forties. It began when I had an extraordinarily vivid nightmare that circled my thoughts like a vulture for weeks. I could not put it into any context that made sense. I don’t know from where my mind pulled together the elements of that vision that had become so indelibly printed on my memory. So, one Saturday morning I woke early and that disturbing dream was on my mind when I did. I sat at the computer and began typing out the vision as I remembered it. Long story short: A hundred-twenty thousand words later, I had a novel. Of course, by the time it was published, it had shrunk to about eighty-five thousand words. And, that dream with some modification, became the beginning of a paranormal (metaphysical, if you prefer) adventure for my protagonist in “The Last Radiant Heart”.
Now, I’m back to the original question: Why do I write?
I think it’s because it’s what I’ve always done. I just didn’t put it into words for other people to read early on, that’s all. Do I enjoy solitary endeavors like writing? Oh yes. Do I enjoy creating characters and living with them for a time? Definitely. Do I want to profit financially from writing? Of course.
To sum it up: I love writing fiction. But, as easy as it would have been to simply say this and then shut up, I wanted you to know the story behind the “why”.
Besides, how could I call myself a writer if all I wrote was, “I love writing.”

Author of
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/mainstream/print & ebook
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/action-adventure/print & ebook
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ historical drama/ ebook only
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX/print only
 “Dancing Away”/ short story/romance/Untreed Reads/ebook only
 “Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”/ATTM Press/soft science fiction/print & ebook
“Helping Hand For Ethan/Rogue Phoenix Press/young adult/print & ebook
 “Phobia”/Booktrope/suspense-thriller/print & ebook
 “Defining Family”/Whiskey Creek Press/young adult/print & ebook
 “The Last Radiant Heart” (re-release)/Sage Words Publishing/science fiction/print & ebook
  “One Day In Lubbock” / Booktrope

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks Danny. Perfectly you. Since last we talked (you were publishing you first book) I noticed your pen has been prolific. Congrats on your success. I'm in the process of catching up on your work. Thanks for the thoughtful honesty on the writing question.
    Warm regards and continued success,
    Bill O