Why I Write
by Nick Galieti
On a recent vacation to North County San Diego, my family and I visited one of the wards I attended from my formative years. It was also the same ward my wife and I first attended after we were married. We have many friends still there, some young men’s leaders, old bishops, and other friendly faces that feel so comfortable even after all these years. I was surprised when greeting some of these individuals how many commented how surprised they were to find out that I was a writer. From what they rememberd of me, apparently, I showed no signs (or intelligence) that would lead anyone to that conclusion. While it is not my profession (I am not making even close to a days wage so far in royalties), the publishing and sale of my non-fiction/devotional book, Tree of Sacrament, as well as other news articles, qualifies me as being officially a writer.
“Writer” is a title that I am not used to sharing with people, I’m not sure why. But with a second book set for publication, and another lined up after that, I suppose I should begin to feel more comfortable with that characterization. After hosting my podcast, The Good Word, where I interview LDS authors, some of which are fiction writers, I felt like I couldn’t consider myself a writer until I had experienced writing a fiction book, a novel of some kind. I would hear of their stories and the adventure of writing fiction and felt like I wanted that experience before considering myself a writer more fully.
So I set out to write a novel. I have no disillusion about it getting published or if it is any good. I just wanted to know that I could write a complete novel. The experience was more of an exercise in endurance and skill. Two months later, I have the first draft finished. While only 40,000 words (about 130-140 pages formatted), I can now sit back and see what I have done and take some sense of accomplishment that I have done something new, a task of self-improvement and testing, and that I have passed the test.
I learned many things as I wrote the story. I realized that I made several typo’s, I learned that at some point in the writing process it helps to know how the story will end so that I can know which direction I should take the story. While I sought the help of others for ideas and direction, I learned that no one else could write this story the same way that I would write it. The book will not be the greatest book ever written, but after my editor goes through it, it will be perfect, or at least complete which is as perfect as is possible.
Ultimately, I realized that the reasons that I write are the same reasons that I am here in mortality. I can write words, but it still requires the work of a talented editor to perfect the text and make it complete. Perhaps, one day, I will be able to see my life story as complete, full of action, adventure, romance, humor, and, in the end, triumph over the seemingly impossible task that laid before me. In some ways God is the editor of my life. Because of Jesus Christ’s atonement, the delete key of our lives, one day I can sit back and be proud of the accomplishment.
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