Over twenty years ago I was driving a rental car from San Diego to the central California coast. While on the I-5, a tremendous idea jumped into my mind of its own volition. I replayed the scene over and over in my mind so that it would stay in my memory...yet I feared that it would become diluted with time if I waited any longer to write it. I had a pen in my pocket, but nothing to write on, so I pulled off to the side of the road and put my emergencies on. Finding a gum wrapper, I paraphrased my idea with words that would trigger the entire sequence. This idea was eventually crafted into a literary novel, Meadowland, which I am now marketing.
Writers find strange ways to carry on. We're also good at make up excuses not to. Although I destroyed my TV over twenty years ago, I still find time to watch a few interesting show on the internet. Californication one such program. I readily identified with the the main character, Hank Moody, who lives a charmed life, despite his self-indulgent and destructive behavior. Later in his life he begins to settle down, thinking of his daughter and his life-partner's well-being. Many writers I know have traveled this road. It's a right of passage for us to test our limits, to experiment, and to fail over and over in order to find success...find moments that help define who we are.
My own journey involved an early marriage, three children, and my subsequent departure. Although I tried to be a weekend father, I think that I failed miserably. Years later (after several other personal failures) I was given a second chance by my BMW (beautiful Mexican wife). We have an amazing daughter, and she has a father that adores her and uses his past to remind him about priorities. Most of what life has taught me ends up in writing—safely tucked within the pages for others to find.
I wish I could tell budding writers to begin where I've ended up, yet I know they must endure their own trial-by-fire ig order to find their voice. Then, once they do, they can begin rebuilding from the left over rubble...gum wrappers and pieces of stories that add up to something.