Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Me: Why I Write

My bio and pages explain what I write, so I thought I'd share why I write.

I've always loved writing stories, imagining myself as another person, even another species. As I grew older and my characters became more sophisticated, they started taking on lives of their own, and I would stay awake for hours watching, hearing even feeling them live out their tales. In part, I starting writing them down because it seemed somehow sinful to live so many vicarious lives. Then, as I grew more "sophisticated," I started to take delight in crafting their lives--giving them complications and psychological problems, searching out the skeletons in their closets, and pitting them against the forces of supernatural evil or human nastiness. It's made their stories far more fun to tell, though sometimes I still find myself daydreaming about the simple, easy times in their lives, the Sunday afternoons curled up with a book or at the keyboard when nothing I'd want to write about happens.

I started writing non-fiction, frankly, for some spending money. I started with what I knew--religion and parenting--and have expanded to interviews and science stories. I found that I really enjoyed researching about a topic and sharing that knowledge. In college, I had toyed with the idea of becoming a professor, but was not enthusiastic about totally immersing myself in a subject the way I thought a professor should. My professors seemed to Know It All in their area. Writing, however, is perfect for me. I can learn a reasonable amount about a given topic, write about it, and move on to whatever interests me or my editors next. I'm seldom bored. I also enjoy interviewing people, finding their unique voice, and sharing their lives. Interviewing the clergy for my columns in Montana Catholic is one of my favorite jobs.

For what I write, see my bio, books page, and links page.

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