What started you to write?

Other posts in Rhobin’s Rounds

This is what Rhobin Courtright wants to know this month.

It was my mother, grandmother, and grandmother’s sister who lived with us, Aunt Janka. By the time I started school, I could read and write, and mentally multiply two-digit numbers. School was a BORE. I spent the time inside my head, so reports said things like “He has the potential to do well, but daydreams during class.”

They were right. I still have the potential to do well, and still daydream.

I made up stories. Many of them had the theme of terrible disasters happening to my stepfather. Then, I implemented some of these ideas, and made the poor man’s life hell. This wasn’t exactly writing, because the stories stayed secret.

Being shy, I was an observer. You can learn a lot about people from tones of voice, little pauses, the way they use their eyes, hands and shoulders. I often surprised people because I could act like a mind-reader. This still wasn’t writing, but an apprenticeship for it.

At eleven years of age, I found that running could take me out of my constant misery. You get going until you warm up. After a while things hurt, and it’s an effort to keep going. When you burst through this pain barrier, you enter a zone of no thought, no emotion, no time… heaven.

I learned to allow my mind to solve problems during these stretches of nirvana. Homework projects, and later university assignments, then research design, sequencing building tasks — whatever problem I faced could be solved while meditating on swift feet. This included thousands of stories I told myself, but never thought to share. Who’d be interested in my nonsense?

One day, I did share a few. To my surprise, people did find them interesting, and lo! I am a writer!

You will find very varied, interesting answers from among my fellow participants:

Victoria Chatham

Skye Taylor

Rhobin L Courtright

Margaret Fieland

Judith Copek

Fiona McGier

Connie Vines

Beverley Bateman

A.J. Maguire

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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12 Responses to What started you to write?

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Oh well, given all the injuries in my body, the most running I do nowadays is running off at the mouth.


  2. ajmaguire says:

    The most running I ever did was in the Army, which is a ‘duh’ statement if I’ve ever made one, but let me qualify that by saying I didn’t enlist until I was 21. My running habits were nonexistent until that point, so daily sprints were a shock to my system. I think my body still remembers the trauma because when my son tries racing me, mostly I just laugh and wave.


  3. I like to “listen” to the story unfold when I’m in the shower. That’s about the only time I have these days. Retirement is a distant dream for us, at this point. I have high hopes of hours to myself, that I can spend writing.

    My muse also likes to “show” me scenes while I’m driving long distances on highways. It made my family nervous when I told them that, so I try to pretend it’s not happening…but it does!


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      You can reassure them, Fiona. It’s perfectly possible to give 100% attention to a task and yet have the creativity cooking in the background.


  4. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Oh, but no doubt you planted seeds that grew and flowered later.


  5. okwriter says:

    I loved your progress with writing and daydreaming as you grew. And I was a runner for many years and I know that zone, although I didn’t use it for writing at the time.


  6. Running was never my thing, but I have always been a walker and know what you mean about solving problems when you are on the move.


  7. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Skye, look behind you…
    But yes, running does require a body without bits falling off it, like mine is now. I’ll join you on the beach.


  8. Skye-writer says:

    I can’t say I get ideas while running because I don’t run – unless a bear is chasing me – but I get lots of great ideas walking on the beach where I find my nirvana.


  9. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Introverts of the world, unite!


  10. Rhobin says:

    A very interesting background, Bob. I too, was shy but observant.


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