My Journey as a Writer

How did I become a writer?

By the end of my hospital life, I’ve decided what I wanted in the retirement.  With a sudden ‘But of course!’ writing became a major interest of mine. In time, it gradually dominated most of my days’, and sometimes nights’, hours. The learning process took time, but now the entire experience is more than rewarding. It’s addictive.

Firstly, one has to have something to write about. I felt fortunate––my life provided me with an abundant collection of stories. I use them as building blocks. During my voluminous readings, really, I came across of the statement, that the Universe is not made up of atoms, is made up of stories, and loved it. 

But the story itself is not enough: one has to put it on paper, do it in acceptable form, and, on top of it, structure them in an appealing to the readers fashion. So the studying and the practice began.

First book, “Fathers and Sons”

The first book, “Fathers and Sons” I wrote by the seat of my pants. It was my practice work. I had an idea, came up with the twist, started writing and ended with an interesting denouement. I was happy.

But, for some readers, the book was too short. And it bothered them that the perpetrator of the crime was never punished.  I was told that my protagonist can carry the story, but my craft is weak. So I had to work on my craft.

Second book, “The Resurrections”

The second novel, “The Resurrections” took much more planning and learning. I enjoyed plotting, using my life material. I included many personal and not-so-personal stories, trying to describe an aging cardiac surgeon who doesn’t know when and how to retire. This book probably had too many details and would benefit from tighter editing. My readers ask me how much of the material is true. I tell them: “Fifty percent, but you have to figure out which fifty percent.” 

Third book, title pending

So there comes my third novel. The story is about an already retired cardiac surgeon who gives the kidney to his long-estranged, now cancer-stricken son and almost dies after the surgery. I’ve plotted the story, designed the scenes and started writing. A sixty-thousand word draft. So far. The book’s plot is more complicated, the story is deeper and more mature than the previous ones. Includes family matters, medical issues, addresses ethical and religious issues. On my wife’s request, as the first two, the book has a happy ending.

While writing, I read a library of books, blogs and articles about the art and craft of writing. I became a ‘sucker’ client of Amazon, The Teaching Company, and our local libraries. I became a member of North Carolina Writers Network looking for fellow-writers, editors and mentors.

Writing gives me more fun, since I don’t have to do it for a living and have all the time I want. Well, most of the time, excepting the family engagements.

And I still type using my two index fingers.

More of the process in my next blog.

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