When I was a young kid, there were three channels on TV.
Think about that for a moment. No shows on your phone (which was hanging on the wall). No shows on your computer (which cost, if you were lucky $2,000, and displayed text in green on a black screen). No shows in your room (we had one TV in the living room, and you had to walk up to it to change the channel on the dial).
Three channels. And not one of them was showing Star Trek at a reasonable hour for a 9 year old to watch.
There were no Blurays, DVDs, or even VHS or Beta waiting on the shelf for you to embrace your hidden geekiness.
The only time that Star Trek came on was occasionally on Saturday nights, at 11:30pm, on a channel out of Augusta rather than Savannah.
Which was a problem.
Cause the antenna on the roof was always pointed toward Savannah, not Augusta. (We could kinda pick up one channel from Augusta rather than three from Savannah.)
To watch Star Trek, one had to go outside, take the pliers, and twist the pole to point to Augusta, all while waking the neighbors as you shouted in, “IS IT ON YET?”
So the only geek show came on once a week at 11:30pm (with church the following morning—and a mom who would beat you if you happened to drop off). It was a hard time to be a Trekker.
Whatever should a trekker do, but learn to write his own Star Trek adventures.
You see, if you really wanted to be Captain James T. Kirk, you had to write your own adventures.
And so, I learned to love words because they could take me to strange new worlds. Through it, I could seek out new life, and new civilizations. Through my pen, I too, could boldly go where no man had gone before.
That’s the miracle of words, sentences, paragraphs and stories.
That’s why I write: because I want to create new worlds to explore. I want to dream of new life, and build new civilizations.
Plus, as Stephen King likes to say, it’s still a good way to pass the time.
And that’s what writing can bring to you, too.
You see every one of us sees this world and this life and this civilization through different eyes. And the only way those worlds will ever come into existence is through the act of piecing words together into stories.
And that’s why we write: to bring life to the unique, individual ideas that are bouncing around in our heads.
To paraphrase, Uncle Walt, we are large, we contain multitudes. We simply need to let them out.