So Why Did You Start Writing Stuff Jeff?

Recently a friend asked me why did I start writing after he saw my book on Amazon “Notes To Stephanie”.  That was a good question I replied.

Well the answer is not really straight forward.  Growing up I got good grades in English and writing.  Unlike my math grades.  When we lived in Denton, Texas the schools had in house literary magazines in which I would get stuff published like short stories or poems.  In college I usually made good grades on papers, even in graduate school.  Outside of school I did not do any writing however.

In the work force I did a lot of writing.  I composed software documentation, training guides, proposals, and presentations.  All of it business writing.  I really did not do any creative writing except for a few articles in a now defunct and obscure hobby magazine.  I really had no great desire to write outside of work.

Then one day when I was engaged to my ex-wife Stephanie I started penning stuff to her.  Short notes on things that were happening.  Life’s ups and downs in short.  That material became the contents of my first book “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.  When I first started writing the little notes to her I never considered publishing them.  Not once until the fall of 2008 when I counted them up and quietly realized I indeed had enough of them to make a book depending on the length I wanted.

So I started doing some research and decided the self published/print on demand route was the easiest way to go.  After our divorce was done I then decided to actually sit down and get the notes turned into a book.  And I did that starting in September of 2009.  By the middle of October 2009 it was up on Amazon and B&N for sale. And then I started writing the sequel, “Notes to Stephanie: Days Remembered”, which needs editing at this time so I can proceed with getting it up for sale.

A sequel you ask?  Write more about a woman you got divorced from?  Well yes.  And why would you do such a thing?  Two main reasons I think drove this decision.  One is the saying that an author should write about what they know.  And I certainly knew a lot about the now defunct marriage.  And secondly I wrote about the marriage to purge the divorce demons from my soul so to speak.  The end of that relationship was a sad disappointment but one deals with it and moves on down life’s road.  The divorce  troubles topic is something I have chosen not to write about simply because detailing the woes and fussing would serve no purpose.  There is enough of that kind of material in the media; creating something more positive was my goal instead.

Later on writing the sequel made me think of writing notes on stories about my two kids.  And another one on stories from my pre-college days.  Thus the sad event of divorce gave me the idea to do something new and good.  A series of four books would be the written.  I call it “The Notes Series”.  Simple enough I think.  All four books will have the same general format.  Short chapters which describe one stand alone topic.  A quick read if you will.  All will be from 200 to 300 pages long, except for the first one which is a little short of 200 pages, given the formatting and layout I am using which is the same for all of them. The titles of book #3 and book#4 are “Notes To My Kids: Little Stories About Grown Up Kids” and “Notes About My Kin: Stories About Growing Up And Family”.  In addition, you might notice that books 2 through 4 are memoirs really.  The first book is not since it is what I wrote when things happened in that former time. Finally each note usually has some “moral to the story” or a “life lesson” in it as well.  Nothing preachy but something that is thoughtful about where an event or situation sat at life’s big and complicated table.

So that is why I have started writing.  As you can see there was no revelation or large cosmic epiphany that made me do it.  But the initial decision to make a book begat the ideas for the other ones.  Time will tell what will come of these efforts. Hopefully someone will read the books and get something good out of them.  For someone to read what I have written about and be entertained by its message, or be given a new view on things in life, would be a good thing.  And hopefully I will sell more than a few books along the way and have a good time as well.

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