The Eternal Drive

Just taking a wee break from the writing to sit and think, and maybe have a spot of lunch.

I just edited one word of the chapter of The Fourth Rewrite that I just finished last night, copied it to PDF, transferred the WIP to my Kobo. This is how I keep track of my story: by reading it on my e-Reader wherever I go, to make sure I haven't contradicted myself or put in a typo. And when I get home, or when I get to a computer which has OpenOffice, I slip in my flash drive and get writing more words.

I'd love to have a laptop for travel, something I can write onto in cafes and whatever; but I only have the one - the one I use back home. So I write at home. In my spot.

Every writer has a spot. Either it's a place - the kitchen table, the edge of their bed, the snug in the local pub, a particular seat in the local cafe; or it's a time - 3 am, bath time, 10:30 am after they've put the kids to school and finally managed to get to the cafe to sit down with a cup of coffee or whatever.

I'm thinking about the drive that keeps me writing. I've written stories since childhood; my first stab at the Fourth Rewrite was back in 1986 (it's now in its fourth and final incarnation); and since 2001 I've been writing at a more or less competent professional level with my now out-of-print Libra Archives, the stories of a man who later came to lead the imbued of Great Britain in a chronicle I wrote on the White Wolf mainframe for their Hunter: the Reckoning roleplaying game.

So, in a way, while I've only seen publication officially in the list of articles detailed in my bibliography, these only represent the materials which I've officially released to date - not counting my blogs.

Counting all my blogs, including the inactive ones; and also counting the many years I've been a moderator on Shadownessence (and Ex Libris Nocturnis before that), not to mention my continued presence writing on the Mongoose Publishing forum, not to mention my presence on Facebook; I can say that I've been a professional writer since about 2001.

And I don't feel that the urge to write will ever go away. In fact, I think it may have only just begun - and before my life is over, the drive to write will be overwhelming. Consuming.

I don't know if my work will ever gain wide acceptance. A lot of the stuff I write comes from the pages of roleplaying games - Hunter: the Reckoning, Hunter: the Vigil, World of Darkness: Dogs of War, Hunter: The Vigil: Night Stalkers; Shadowrun; Mongoose Publishing's Traveller; Mongoose Publishing's Legend.

But then again, despite that, my works are original in that I use them to explore themes, directions, concepts not generally covered by the more mainstream, some would say "trammelled," fantasy & science fiction settings and tropes. I explore. I deconstruct. I stir things up. I play with the tropes, break them and remake them to come up with ideas which never appeared within the core rulebooks and sourcebooks of the above roleplaying games - and, thus, would have no rules for them.

Which means I'm writing my stuff without access to any of the usual rulebooks. The rulebooks which say things like "An Adventurer must form a team of specialists - thief, battle tank, magical artillery, ranged combat assassin, healer - and delve into a succession of dungeons, plundering nameless, faceless orcs, slaughtering everything that moves and optionally breathes, avoiding the traps and loading up on all the treasure going." I don't follow those kinds of rulebooks.

I write new rules into those rulebooks instead.

These are the times when I can sit back and think about what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and where my life will take me. And honestly, thinking about it right now I can't see my life, what remains of it, being anything other than the life of a writer.

It's what I'll probably be doing right up until the day I die. I only hope that my audience will be willing to go along with me right up to the end - though, you know, afterwards I hope they'll just shrug and move on and look for something else to do, rather than, you know, follow me, if you know what I mean/

Right. Lunch break over. Browsing and grazing done. Back to the grind. These words will not write themselves, you know.

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