Since I was old enough to learn how words fit together, I have been a writer. My first foray was a rather dour children's book called "Dogs Don't Look Both Ways", which featured a rebellious puppy who runs away because his mother won't let him play outside. He ends up getting run over.
By a cat.
In a truck.
I was a rather disturbing child.
I've written novels, short stories, novellas, even taken a shot at a few nonfiction pieces (and failed utterly, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms). And I love it.
I love making a world, a set of people, come alive. There is something indescribably amazing about being able to turn an empty page into something that lives and breathes through the people it talks about--and while those people aren't real, they're able to navigate life with just as much chaos and uncertainty as I am, while managing to make me believe that it will all come right in the end.
It's a great power, being able to wordcraft. Think about the great books that still survive today. There's a reason some books are revered, because they make us feel things, and give us characters we can all love and look up to and, occasionally, detest a little bit, too. They teach us about the nature of life, of what it means to be human, of what it is to never give up hope, to persevere in the face of tragedy. Sometimes, they show us the opposite; what happens when we give up, when we find it impossible to keep going, when the chaos that threatens really does end up overwhelming us.
But either way, the written word teaches us things. It helps us to understand life in a thing outside of what is properly "real life". And I think that that gift, the power that goes with it, is given by God. And (at the risk of sounding really, really egotistical for a moment), it's a gift I believe I have, and that I think I have a responsibility to use it for good.
But I love it. And that's what makes it worth it, I suppose. Because if you can't love what you do in your down-time, what's the point of down-time?
This is the point where I'd love to hear from all of you. What are some of the things you enjoy doing in your down-time? Do you write? And if so, what? (Tell me, I won't steal your ideas. Maybe. No promises.)