Hello. My name is Ross.
I’m a writer.
Sounds like a greeting in a dependency program, doesn’t it? Try to quit, though, and you find just how necessary writing is in your life.
I actually tried once. For about three months. I quit everything associated with writing. I avoided my office. I quit reading, going to libraries. Everything.
It lasted about two months.
There is something about writing that is a need. It’s more than thinking up a plot or story or creating interesting characters, though it is also those. It is something inside you that needs to come out, something that needs to be expressed. Could it be we, as writers, living in this shallow world, need to show that there is more to us than what is seen. More to us than what we seem?
My passion for writing blossomed 25 years ago. Maybe it was something of a mid-life crisis. I know it had a lot to do with when my daughter began first grade. My wife worked during the day as an analyst at Norwest Bank. I worked afternoons for the Burlington Northern Railroad. As a result, I was our daughter’s primary caregiver during the day. So when I discovered I was alone with no daughter to care for, I did what every mother or father is supposed to do: I slid into deep depression.
A good friend suggested I think through my life. Was there anything I really wanted to do that I hadn’t been able to do? A hobby or avocation?
Yes! Write! I had about ten pages of a novel plot I had put together a number of years before. It was rolled and wrapped up in rubber bands and thrown up overhead in the garage. Thus was born Spirits of Ojos de Agua. Set in Mexico. Which later became Eye of the Serpent.
Of Mourning Doves and Heroes followed. A murder mystery. Anyway, it started as a formula murder mystery. I soon found, however, that to satisfy this inner need to express myself, I needed sub-plots and relationships with interesting characters and so it turned into more of a mainstream mystery and an exploration of a late in life romance.
For Whipoorwill, I returned to Mexico. Something holds me to that part of the world.
What have I learned from my writing? Other than the practical knowledge gained from necessary research? That one must treasure solitude for one thing, And, that it does take a certain Gift. And we need to honor that Gift Giver by using that gift.
But, writing is also craft. By studying the craft, using that gift, and practice, we can become successful by however you measure success.
But mostly, I think, I’ve gained a deeper understanding and acceptance of myself. And I can count that as a measure of my success.
Learn more about Ross Tarry at his site, Ross Tarry Novels dot Com.
Readers: why do you write?