I’m A Writer. I Just Never Asked Myself Why.

I’m Steven Montano, and I write novels about a magic-wracked post-apocalyptic earth, a place where vampires and humans wage war.  I’ve never been accused of writing a happy ending.

But I do love that I can say “I’m a writer”.  A year ago I considered myself “an aspiring writer”, which, when you think about it, is really pretty silly.  You can be an aspiring author – in fact, until you actually publish something, that’s what you are – but you’re either a writer, or you aren’t.

I’ve actually been a writer for a long time…nearly 20 years now (holy crap, was it really that long since I turned 18?). I’ve been an author for almost that long, since I started publishing short stories when I was in college.

I realized, however, as we started throwing this Guild of Dreams thing together…well, let’s be honest, Bruce “threw” it together, and he did an outstanding job, while I pretty much said “Yeah, that’s great” while I ate cookies and drank wine…that I had never asked myself that famed question, the one that all authors ask themselves at one point or another.

“Why do I write?”  It never occurred to me to even wonder about this before now.  (Yes, I’m slow.)

And as it turns out, I have quite a few reasons…

* I write to escape.  I like to fall into mist-covered worlds filled with black ice and ancient ruins, where vampires ride on the backs of razor-winged reptiles and humans scorch the sky with arcane fire.  I like to tread through crypts in haunted forests and journey across desert plains populated by undead marauders.  These places may sound terrifying to you, but I love them.  I can hide in them for days.

* I write because I’m in love with words.  I love to craft them, to shape them, to fuse them into images that burn in the mind.

He crosses vast distances in the blink of an eye.  He not only ignores temporality, but geography.  His mind is adrift, no longer fused to his body.  He passes like a ghost across the barren landscape, through pillars of smoke and wastelands of dead trees.  He scars the earth as he walks through an air turned dreadfully bitter and cold.

He passes cold camps and barren towers, abandoned homes and wrecked vehicles.  Tubes of hollow steel protrude from the ground like totems.  The ribs of ancient beasts lay gnarled and yellowed in the pale sun. 

Stuff like that.  Cool, huh?

* I write to understand.  My life, like anyone’s life, has seen its share of loss and sadness and anger and pain.  I’ve lost loved ones, and I’ve lost friends.  I struggle to be the man that I want to be.  Sometimes when I foist my negative emotions on my characters it helps me to better understand myself.

* I write to release my dreams.  Blood Skies is based on a nightmare I had about a group of women trapped in a glade, where they were hunted down and killed by black unicorns.  I tried to find the right story for that dream several times before I finally got it right.  I had to convey all of the emotions I’d been saddled with upon waking, the fear and regret, the sense of solitude and isolation at being lost at the edge of a frozen wasteland… the feeling that I was lucky to have woken at all, unlike those women, who would remain forever trapped.

* I write because I love to tell stories.  I have to tell stories.  I can’t read or watch television or even listen to music without wondering what I can use for my writing, what I can steal and twist to make new stories.

* I write because I love to do it, pure and simple.

* I write because sometimes it’s the only way to calm the storm inside my brain.

* I write because I seem to be good at it.  That may not really be the case, but that’s what people tell me.

* I write.  I don’t really need reasons.  It’s just what I do.

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8 comments on “I’m A Writer. I Just Never Asked Myself Why.

  1. I really like, and empathize, with the reasons you write, Steven. Though I have to admit, I’m happy my dreams aren’t quite so dark! LOL. I know what you mean about getting lost for days in another world. No movie or song can compare to a world you create. And boy, isn’t awesome to come up with a great phrase or line? 🙂

    • I don’t actually remember most of my dreams. When I do…wow…LOL.

      The act of creation is a reward unto itself, I agree.

  2. Thanks, Steven. Great post. Whenever I put thought to why I write, the best I can usually come up with is, ‘because I have to’. It’s come to the point where I don’t feel I have a choice in the matter anymore. But I agree with you and Zen: who needs a reason?

    • When I started to have a deeply seated psychotic urge to write every day was when I finally realized I was a writer. LOL

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