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I need to write

Posted by johnnieraz on October 5, 2013 at 12:50 AM

By John Rezell

Although I write every day for my job, I've been on a long sabbatical from writing for myself. That feels strange. That has to change.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. It all began with the desk.

My sister Barb is the oldest of five in the Rezell clan. Must have been around third grade when she married and moved out.

She left behind this magnificent old wooden desk with ornate trim and a dark, varnish finish.

The desk itself felt as though it had stories to tell. My imagination buzzed as I would sit at it, my feet propped up, and fantasize about being a writer.

It's funny now, because in the past nine years all of my writing has been done at the kitchen table. Or picnic table.

Each hand-carved feature of that childhood desk called to me. Each image sparking a fresh thought in my head. I literally felt it would take a lifetime to chronicle all those ideas.

Through the years, when I wasn't writing for my job, I was still writing on my own. Sometimes about my job. Sometimes about my life. Sometimes a bit of each.

Quite possibly that motivation to have material to write about fueled this wonderful life adventure I've experienced.

From the moment I left high school, my mantra was simple. If it's true that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die, I want my movie to be the most entertaining in the history of man. Even if it's just an audience of one.

That's where my path changes course from many writers. I'm comfortable with an audience of one. I don't write for anyone other than myself. Understand that I do, in the end, want someone to read my material and I want it to make an impact. It's just that, really, I write for it to meet my standards and no one else.

In a career of writing for newspapers, magazines and the Internet, that philosophy saved me from endless hours of angst that many writers endure, battling tooth-and-nail with an editor over changing a word here, deleting a sentence there or calling for a complete rewrite.

As long as my story was exactly what I wanted it to be when I made my final read, that was fine. What anyone did with it afterward, well, I did my part. That's what I got paid to do. An editor gets paid to do what they have to do.

When I became a parent, that changed a little in my personal writing. At some level, everything I write is targeted at my daughters. The goal is that they can someday understand a little better who I am, and why I am who I am.

As I venture into this new chapter of writing in my life, I see that I have a lot of material in the bank. It's time to review. You have to look at where you've been to know where you need to go.

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