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Who am I to Write?

From August 19, 2010

Hello world, My name is Gerald M. Givens (or Jerry). I am many things in this life, but here I am simply a writer. Who am I to write? Well, I have been writing creatively in some capacity since I was 8 years old, when I wrote my first 'book' based around the life of three roommates: a mouse, a cat, and a dog. When I get down on myself about writing, I read over my early creations and remember that this is what I am here for. When I was a junior in high school in Hastings, Michigan, I fell in love with poetry. Not just reading it (I'm a big Poe fan), but writing it as well. Since then I have written dozens of horrible poems that will never see the light of day. No, really. But in those mounds of confused teenage angst randomly spewed, I grew into quite a poet. I honed my skills and my ability to articulate my emotions on paper with poise. Similar to my early bad poetry (which in truth, is my sole judgment of the work, seeing as I'm the only one who has ever read it), I attempted to write my first book while I was in high school. It was to become a Robin Hood story with a little time travel mixed in. My skills and attention were not great enough to finish the project. On a side note, I was able to turn my pile of bitter failure into a short story as a final project in my Medieval History class in college. I got a 'B'. Something peculiar happened to me my first year in college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. For the first time in my life I began to read and actually enjoy it. I suffered through reading in high school ( saved my life then), so it came as a great shock to me that I ended up loving literature of all forms. The first novel I ever read and enjoyed was 'Jurassic Park' by Michael Crichton, who I have since unfairly placed upon the pedestal that is my dream of being a published author. I ended up reading most of everything he ever wrote. Since then, I have stretched my proverbial hand and have read novels across all genres. Now that I understood the constructs of a novel, something that I was oblivious to in my initial attempt, I found myself inspired to write. In the middle of my second year of college, a Muse whispered something in my ear. The idea was simple. The lost continent of Atlantis existed. How could I create a story around that? Of course many had done so before me, but how was I to accomplish this? With the little free time of someone working their way through college, I began my extensive research on the legend of the lost continent. In truth, the only knowledge that I had about it came from the Disney movie. Not quite reliable. In the span of nearly three painstaking years I gave birth to my first novel, 'Eyes in Atlantis.' Here I found myself in a peculiar predicament. I was too scared to let just anyone read it. I mean, come on, my soul now resided not just within me, but in this brain child of mine. So I let one of my closest friends read and edit it. I feared that it would be horrible. Three years just wasted. Not only a bad story, but the worst thing EVER written. I was little melodramatic. To my relieved surprise, she loved it. My heart lifted. Thank God, I didn't suck! It gave me hope to continue my course. Now let's backtrack just a little. My friend took a while to edit my book (her being in college, full time job, yadda yadda) and I grew anxious about what my next project would be. I had semi-successfully written one novel. Hell, I could write another. Without meaning to, I came up with a premise for a sequel to 'Eyes in Atlantis.' I say 'without meaning to' because I never intended for my first novel to have follow up. But once that initial idea was formed, it spread like a wildfire until I found myself outlining my second great creation 'The Deluge.' At the beginning of Summer 2010, I finished the first draft of my second book, another child painfully birthed. At that point, I knew with every fiber of my being that I am a writer. This is my calling and here I am, answering the phone. So I hope that you join me on this journey, vicariously through blogging as I make my dreams become a reality. And maybe we'll even have some fun on the way. Follow me and comment often, as feedback of all forms is essential to my quest. Thank you, Gerald M. Givens, Writer

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