On Writing

One of the several discussion boards of which I am a member had an interesting post this morning – “Why do you write?”

The respondents were supposed to reply in three words or less. It took me four: “I need the money”.  I’ve never been much of a rule follower. I think that’s one of my most attractive features.

Not only that, it’s true. I’ve been a writer most of my life, and it has been (and still is) a very interesting life, in the Chinese sense of the word. Not my fault, really. I’ve lived and worked in several interesting parts of the world, served in a couple of armies, worked in government and private security and spent several profitable years in the software development industry.

I’ve also built cattle pens, worked in botanic gardens and professional golf courses, painted houses, flipped burgers, built furniture and made pizzas. And other stuff.

And I’ve learned a  lot. Most of that knowledge and experience is very nearly useless, in this century at least, but it is interesting, and it’s mine.

But in 2008 I found myself facing what I knew was going to become a very long term of unemployment, and the job I had at the time was just filled with quiet bits. So I opened up a word processor and began to write what would wind up titled “The Big Bend”.  Several months later most of the first draught was complete and I was out of a job.  I found another one, but with the downturn in the economy it didn’t last six months and no amount of job hunting has turned up another.

After the first two years I gave up looking. Besides, I’ve sort of made up my own job. I’m a novelist; a full-time, professional liar. I’ve even though of putting that on my business cards the next time I have a bunch printed.

So I write because I have to and because my books sell and my readers assure me they will buy my next novel when it comes out. I love my readers. They are without a doubt the best employers a fella could ever hope for.

Now I just need to find more of them.


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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One Response to On Writing

  1. hawleywood40 says:

    Interesting topic. 3 words, huh? Guess I’d have said “It’s my therapy.” I’m just evil when I don’t. Glad to have found your blog!

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