Why do I write?

A thorny question that stumps the best of the best in the writing world. Good question! No damn idea. But, writing has always been there, like a petulant child kicking the back of my driver’s seat, my entire life.

In the 7th grade, 1982. I wrote and illustrated a picture book based on ‘Popeye the Sailor’ for my English class. My parents had only recently taken me to see the god awful film version that starred Robin Williams in the titular role and Shelley Duvall as ‘Olive Oyl’. I won a school prize for it, too.

Sadly, later that year. I had my first ever rejection for a story. I had based it off the second ‘Mad Max’ film complete with gory illustrations of body parts hanging off the grilles of cars and trucks. Ms Price was shocked and appalled. I forget now what my replacement story was. Clearly not one that had stuck with me, these near on 40 years later.

Who says violent films affect children? Mad Max II was also the sole reason I wanted to be a stuntman and I did go on to do stuntman, sorry stunt person, training. It sent my mother prematurely grey. But that’s for another blog.

Two things I loved to do right through my childhood and into my teen years was to draw and write. Both subsided when I left high school and I had to find employment. Then that pesky thing called life got in the way. Although, I had friends in the US who I wrote letters to. Lengthy letters, as well. Which is pretty much the only style of writing I did until the internet entered my life in late 1999.

Alright, that’s enough of going all ‘David Copperfield’ on you. So I shall fast forward somewhat.

Now, I am a firm believer in that, no matter how bad, how tragic a situation you find yourself in at any stage of your life, and I will channel my best Jeff Goldblum here, ‘Aaah, ah.. life finds… a way.’ He says smouldering with his shirt unbuttoned. It does get better.

After my arrest, late in 2012. I lost everything. I mean, I am talking absolute scorched earth. Kim Jong Un had pushed the nuclear button and my life became nothing more than Linda Hamilton’s dream sequence in ‘The Terminator.’ I became ‘persona non grata.’

I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. My gimp lawyer told me it could possibly take two years before I had an answer. Two years, and no plan. No money. No point in looking for a job because I’d only have to turn around two years later and say, ‘Umm, thanks but I am off to prison. Yes, I’ll keep a firm grip on the soap, thanks.’

I already had a Bachelor degree in Design under my belt. Another ADHD idea. So, with prior studies under my cap I decided to look for something to do at university to kill the time, so to speak. Queensland University of Technology had a Bachelor in Creative Writing. I applied, and I got in. Now what?

Apart from my whimsical Popeye and my ghastly Mad Max stories (I didn’t think it was ghastly, Ms Price just didn’t appreciate my clear talent) in the 7th grade and many handwritten letters. I had not written a thing, novel wise. In the beginning of the course, I was simply there to kill time.

Over the time I was at QUT, my eyes opened to a whole new world of writing. I read books by authors I’d have never read in 1,000 years. I learnt new concepts, new ideas, thoughts and styles of writing. I even fell in love with poetry!

That petulant child who once kicked the back of my driver’s seat was now riding shotgun with its hands firmly gripped on the dashboard, and me, one hand gripped on the steering wheel, the other with a finger lingering on the nitrous switch and my right foot planted down on the accelerator. It was go time.

But! After finishing my BA in 2016 and my Masters in 2018 I still had to find my ‘voice’. I had more discoveries in the writing world to make. I’ve been told, by many. I can write. I know I am ‘there’ and that is one reason this blog exists. Yet, I feel as though I need to mature into being the writer I will be. I write everyday, when I can. Even if it is this blog.

If someone were to ask me, ‘Why do I write?’ My answer for now would simply be, ‘To make a difference.’

Published by G.D. Ison

I'm a neurodivergent heavy metal loving motorcycle riding cat owning writer living in Brisbane (Meanjin), Australia. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land. I hold a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of the Sunshine Coast and a Bachelor degree in the same, obtained from the Queensland University of Technology. I also hold a Bachelor degree in Visual Communication (Design) from Griffith University College of Art. Considering those academic achievements, I actually failed high school.

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