Being a Writer of What You Love rather than a What Others Love

By John Irvin

            I couldn’t think of what to write today’s topic on. I was scrolling through Pinterest as I often do, reading and liking quotes or memes, when I came across this quote by Salman Rushdie.

            “Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.”

            This is so true, I thought. The books I’ve already written always came from ideas seeming to pop into my head out of nowhere. I’d like to say, Yes, I choose to write that story.

            But being honest, in the words of another author, often I don’t feel like the creator but rather just a journalist along for the ride. My characters don’t always end up doing what I’ve planned even after the first draft!

            I’ve been questioned by people amongst my circles. Why do you write dark fantasy? Isn’t it evil? Or they say things like, Oh, I can’t stand fiction. How can you write fiction? Isn’t it all fake?

            Yes, it’s fake. Are you happy? I am telling a story that isn’t true about people who don’t exist. But there is a reason beyond our own thoughts for the why I must write this.

            Any writer will tell you, The moment you start writing what other people want you to write is the moment you lose your self. It is your duty to yourself and to the world to write the book that is inside you.

            I find, if I’m unable to write the stories living inside me, there is a ledge I will end up skirting about. This ledge drops into the depths of insanity. I must write what is in me lest I be driven out of my mind from the demands and opinions of others.

            Call it a journey of self-realization if you must. But, you can’t live this life given to you to its utmost unless you know the why you were put here.

            I have no inner struggle towards my fiction.

            So you’re saying you were put on this earth to write about werewolves, you ask. Glad you asked that. I’m not saying that to the T.

            Yes, I write in the dark fantasy because those are the stories with the greatest allure to me. Why? It’s always been that way. Perhaps it is the underlying struggle of good vs. evil that draws me. The realistic issues of humanity hinted at all through the hero’s journey.

            Maybe it’s the naturalistic themes. I am somewhat of a naturalist, I believe God created nature for our enjoyment and benefit and too often times we are drawn up by the cares and worries and endless fast-pace of society to even ponder the marvelous world around us.

            There’s also a romantic side to the genre—I’m somewhat of a hopeless romantic.

            For whatever reason, these are the books that choose me. Do I think of writing non-fiction sometimes? Rarely, but I do. Do I consider writing literary fiction? Depends on what you mean, honestly, that is a genre from a by-gone era. What about children’s fiction, we need more clean children’s fiction? Of course, I’d love to. But so far, none of those books have chosen me.

            It’s okay if you’re not a dark fantasy or paranormal fiction fan. Everyone has their own group, their own flock.

            Just because you know me doesn’t mean you have to love my books. But please, don’t judge them, they are my children.

            If you would like to try out the genre, here’s a link to my Amazon Author Central page: amazon.com/author/irvinnovelist76

            My latest in-print dark fantasy—or gothic fantasy, I go back and forth between those two because they’re so closely related—is Revelation in the Longevity series.

Longevity, Book 1: Revelation by John Irvin
A dark or gothic tale about a man who discovers he’s not actually man.

            Whatever you decide, it is your life and your preferment. I love you either way!

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