The Force that Drives Me

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Personal Life
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

(Post transferred from my website: Clearing up space for another post. :-))

Every writer has two reasons for why they write. The first is for fame and success. Many will tell you that they don’t write for the first reason that I mentioned, but I assure you, no one dives into a profession with intentions of being mediocre and overlooked. The second reason a writer writes happens to be the force that drives them when fame and success appears to be out of reach. The second reason is different for each person, but without that second reason, the first can not be obtained. If I only wrote for fame and success, I would have stopped being a writer two months after making the written word my profession. I have never been denied anything I sought to obtain, but I quickly realized that being a successful writer was not going to come easy. As a matter of fact, I have come to accept the fact that my first reason for writing may not happen at all. Nevertheless, I keep writing.

So, what is that second reason that drives me? The answer is simple. The answer is my child, and/or future children.

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was ten-years-old. However, my plan was to pick a well paying profession, then start writing when I retired from the job market. I was very levelheaded for a child — more so than I am now, it seems. I eventually became an adult and it didn’t take me long to realize that the world did not orbit around my plans. Obstacle after obstacle was thrown my way. Disappointments came. One day I was a child with ignorant optimism, and the next thing I know, I’m in my twenties. I’m still optimistic about my future, but I now know that life is no fairytale.

(Desert Breeze Publishing brings you Life is no Fairytale by Bennie L. Newsome this September).

After coming to that realization, I began to wonder what else might not go as I planned. Who could say I would even live to see an old age and retire? That was something to think about. If that part of my plans was derailed (like everything else had been), then I would never get to live my dreams. I would never become a writer.

My mind began to travel along thoughts of an early demise. That thought branched off into the area of kids. What if I had kids and died prematurely? No one likes to think about death (no one with their sanity intact), but who can say when the skeleton cloaked in black will come for them. So I asked myself: If I had children, then died before I could teach them the things I had in mind, how would their life be affected?

Well, that did it. I decided not to wait for an old age that was not promised. I became a writer while I was still able. My chosen audience became young adults, middle grade, and children for one simple reason. If I was to have children and tragedy struck for one reason or another, I wanted to leave them something that could benefit them in my absence. They could learn from the tales I left behind.

I wrote my first young adult novel more than a year before my first born came into this world. The main character was named after him. Since then, I have written more young adult novels, middle grade novellas, and children stories. I would love to become a famous and successful writer, but the reason I must be published is for Benjamin and the little girls that I hope are to follow. My most important audience is my child(ren). If I was to die tomorrow, my five-month-old child would at least be left with the beginnings of his own library — a book collection that I wrote myself. Through my writings, Benjamin would be able to see that his father was funny, a bit insane, and that I loved him very much.

Then there is the possibility that I will live to see a ripe old age. If that happens, and I pray that it does, then I hope that my efforts would have blazed a path for my children to tread. By my example, my children will know that they don’t have to settle for the first menial job that comes their way. I want my children to do what they love. I want my children to follow their dreams. And in order for that to happen, I must first break the mold.

I started this by telling you the first reason I write. Now you know the second. Now you understand the force that drives me.

  1. mskatykins says:

    I can’t think of a nicer, more poignant reason for writing, Bennie – that’s really, really lovely! I love writing stories for children. It gives me a good excuse to exercise my crazy imagination! Did I tell you that last year I made my twin nieces a personalised story complete with (shitty) illiustrations. I loved doing that, so much fun. Writing for a younger audience helps you to feel more appreciated too! 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your book. I’m waiting until I finish the books I’m reading first, then it’s my treat! 🙂

    • blnewsome says:

      That’s cool that you made a personalized story for your nieces — with awesome illustrations, I’m sure. 🙂 I’m sure that’ll stick with them. My mom never wrote me a story, but she use to read to me when I was little, and she would draw me this stick man driving a bubble car. It was nothing special, but it meant the world to me. And I agree, writing for a younger audience does make you feel more appreciated. They read for the enjoyment of a story. They don’t dissect what you’ve written.

      Lol, and take your time getting to the book. It’s just nice to know that you showed an interest. 🙂

      • mskatykins says:

        Well I can honestly say that my drawing has improved since then, so it’s good that even that’s part of the learning process. My nieces wrote me last week and one of them had suggestions for the next story that should involve both of them – I was very impressed with the idea too! So I’m sending them pictures of the characters from my picture book so that they can come up with names for them. 🙂

        Really looking forward to the reading, I think that sounds really lovely what your mum did – it’s obviously left a positive impression on you. 🙂

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