Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why I Write: Writing and Self-Discovery



I had just settled into my seat when she sat down, the same lady who had next to me on the same flight exactly 1 year ago. It had to be her; the pince nez glasses, the narrow, pinched face, the slightly blue tint to her tight perm. I grabbed desperately at the in-flight magazine to shield my face, but it was too late. She recognized me.

"You, eh..."

Her tone implied I had stolen her recipe for homemade ginger snaps, tromped on her parent's grave or kidnapped her favorite cat.

"Yes, it's me."

She slid into the open seat next to me, despositing the world's largest purse on the floor in front of me.

"You don't mind, do you?"

I minded, but my head shook of it's volition and she patted me on the shoulder.

"I just don't like anything near my feet... in case we have to make an emergency landing." (But it was okay with her if get tangled up and burned in the wreckage.) "You're the writer, aren't you."

With no other recourse, I nodded, confirming it. Her lips curdled into a sneer. "The unpublished one."

This was it, my moment of triumph. After years of going unpublished (and generally unnoticed) I had received several offers for publication, and my most recent novel (The Intern, TouchPoint Press) was soon to be in print (Summer/Fall 2019.) But she didn't even give me a chance.

"I thought I told you to do something else."

She had, of course; I refer you to my blog of last year documenting the conversation.  Why I Write; Part 1. I shrugged.

"You're just gonna have to face facts... It's not happening."

I suppose I could have interjected here, but I could see she was revving herself up for a diatribe.

"Evvvvery one think they're a writer. Evvvveryone has a story to tell."

She twirled her alabaster index fingers around and mouthed, WhhhhuuuupppppyyyyttttyyyyDooooo.

"For heaven's sake, even my friend Mabel is writing a book."

She turned to fix me in her stare, using her index finger to push her glasses back up her nose.
"Mabel, of all people."

Now, sometimes having a memory for details is a good thing, and sometimes it isn't, because she had told me last year that her friend Mable liked to read erotica, and I had spent the better part of the year trying--unsuccessfully--to purge the image of Mable reading 50 Shades of Grey from my cerebral files.

"Erotica?"

She nodded emphatically; the glasses slid very close to the end of her long, angular nose, where they came to rest on a small mole with three white hairs sticking out of it.

"Of course, and do you know what?"

I did not know what. I did not want to know what.

"She asked me to read it over."

"Did you?"

"What was I going to do? Mabel and I go way back."

This was a conundrum. My first instinct was to change the subject, to something more pleasant, like ogres eating puppies or 12-year-old bourbon being poured down the drain, but I was possessed of a morbid curiousity I coundn't exorcise.

"And?"

"It was alright, but I think she went a bit too far with that scene with the foursome in the elevator."

I was taking the stairs from now on. My hand lunged for the roll of TUMS in my pocket.

"Anyway, I wish Mabel would go back to Canasta... I haven't used that many Nitro pills since my husband died."

She lapsed into silence and I almost told her about my book, almost... In the end, I decided to keep quiet, surprising even myself. You'd think that after spending fifteen years writing and trying to get published, I'd want to celebrate finally getting to the finish line. But that's not why I write.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again, because--now that I have a book coming out--it's no longer a rhetorical question. I write because I am convinced there is great value in writing (which isn't to stay I am not going to enjoy being published.) I already am, and I look forward to getting a box of galleys in the mail and reading reviews on line and watching my sales figures on Amazon. But those things are bonuses.

I believe there is value in writing, in the struggle to express oneself. I am always amazed at how much I learn about myself when I write. In the process of revising The Intern, I realized what I had been trying to write about when I started the book a few years earlier. The Intern is the story of a young doctor struggling to make it through her first year of residency at an inner-city hospital in Spanish Harlem, and the relationship she develops with a twelve-year-old boy dying of cancer, but that isn't the driving force behind the book. The Intern is really about the transformational power of love and it's ability to bring about meaning and happiness in life.

I have to say I was a little surprised when the theme of the book dawned on me; I guess I had never thought about it that much, but there it was, literally in black and white. And then I thought about many of the books that have made the biggest impression on me and I realized they were thematically similar. But only in the writing and revising of The Intern was I able to see that, to realize the importance of this theme in my life. That's what I mean when I say that writing leads to self-discovery, to understanding your true self. And that's why I think everyone should write. What could be more important than learning who you really are, what actually makes you tick? And it's free, all you need is a keyboard, or a pencil and paper (which is how I started, only switching after a hundred pages of script ended up in my sister-in-law's pool.)

That's enough from me, because there is something else I've learned from writing; No one wants to hear me keep droning on and on, on paper or in speaking. Besides, my friend next to me has fallen asleep and I want to use the time to do some editing, BECAUSE I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT!

Cheers, peter
:)


Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include The Intern, coming in 2019 from TouchPoint Press; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at peter@peterhogenkamp.com or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at liz@kimberleycameron.com.

10 comments :

Gillian said...

Sounds as though summer will have all, or most, of your patients reading your book?
Are you planning to give them, or sell them a copy at their appointment? Please save me a copy for my June appointment.

Peter Hogenkamp said...

Absloutely, I will!

florence cedric said...

THANKS DR PETER FOR RESTORING MY HAPPINESS AND MY FAMILY TOGETHER. WHATSAPP/CALL +1(321)754-0649

Hello, I am Florence Cedric.i leave at 315 St Germain Ave Toronto ON M5M 1W4(Toronto ,Ontario) After i have been in a relationship with my husband for years, he broke up with me. I did everything possible to get back to him but all was in vain, I wanted him back so badly because i loved him. so i explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that helped her cast a spell that got her pregnant and brought her husband back.I had no choice than to try it. I messaged the spell caster on whatsapp and he assured me there was no problem and that everything will be okay.so He cast the spell for me and surprisingly after 48hours, my husband called me. I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that had happened He wanted me to return to him. He also said he loved me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again.so anyone who need help on any kind of problems can also contact this real and very genuine spell caster on Whatsapp/call +1(321)754-0649 or mail him via MAGNIFICENTSPELLCAST@GMAIL.COM and MAGNIFICENTSPELLCAST@YAHOO.COM or you can read more about this great spell caster on his website http://MAGNIFICENTSPELLCAST.WEBSITE2.ME contact this great man today and get your problems solved 100%

florence cedric said...

THANKS DR PETER FOR RESTORING MY HAPPINESS AND MY FAMILY TOGETHER. WHATSAPP/CALL +1(321)754-0649

Hello, I am Florence Cedric.i leave at 315 St Germain Ave Toronto ON M5M 1W4(Toronto ,Ontario) After i have been in a relationship with my husband for years, he broke up with me. I did everything possible to get back to him but all was in vain, I wanted him back so badly because i loved him. so i explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that helped her cast a spell that got her pregnant and brought her husband back.I had no choice than to try it. I messaged the spell caster on whatsapp and he assured me there was no problem and that everything will be okay.so He cast the spell for me and surprisingly after 48hours, my husband called me. I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that had happened He wanted me to return to him. He also said he loved me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again.so anyone who need help on any kind of problems can also contact this real and very genuine spell caster on Whatsapp/call +1(321)754-0649 or mail him via MAGNIFICENTSPELLCAST@GMAIL.COM and MAGNIFICENTSPELLCAST@YAHOO.COM or you can read more about this great spell caster on his website http://MAGNIFICENTSPELLCAST.WEBSITE2.ME contact this great man today and get your problems solved 100%

julian kay said...

EFFECTIVE AND POWERFUL LOVE SPELL CASTER AND LOTTERY SPELL 2019 GBOJIESPIRITUALTEMPLE@GMAIL. COM OR WHATSAPP HIM :+2349066410185

Hi i am from USA I have just experience the wonders of Dr. gbojie love spell, that have been spread on the internet and worldwide, How he marvelously helped people all over the world to restored back their marriage life and get back lost lovers, and also help to win lottery. I contacted him after going through so many testimonies from different people how he help to bring back ex lover back, i told him about my husband that abandoned me about 8 months ago, and left home with all i had.. Dr GBOJIE only told me to smile and have a rest of mind he will handle all in just 24 hours, After the second day my husband called me, i was just so shocked, i pick the call and couldn't believe my ears, he was really begging me to forgive him and making promises on phone.. He came back home and also got me a new car just for him to proof his love for me. i was so happy and called Dr Gbojie and thanked him, he only told me to share the good news all over the world .. Well if you need an effective and real spell caster contact Dr gbojie Via email: gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com, gbojiespiritualtemple@yahoo.com or Call or WhatsApp: +2349066410185
website : http://gbojiespiritualtemple.website2.me/

chris brankfurt said...

PLEASE READ PLEASE READ PLEASE READ
Hello everyone, i would like to share my experience on this platform. i have been hearing of Blank Atm for a while and i applied through a few people but i was scammed, not until i found Mr George who saved me from scammers, i got my blank ATM card in 5 days after application and tried the encrypted card in an ATM machine and pos cash store to my greatest surprise i was able to withdraw $3000 and that was the daily rate i applied for. to be honest there is no risk involved the card is not traceable and has an infrared signal that blocks off CCTV during your withdrawals. i just payed my daughters tuition fee and cleared my mortgage debts, i am also richer and started a business that is doing fine. Mr George is really a life saver and he is very genuine. You can contact him with this email address: blankatm402@outlook.com
Best wishes

chris brankfurt said...

PLEASE READ PLEASE READ PLEASE READ
Hello everyone, i would like to share my experience on this platform. i have been hearing of Blank Atm for a while and i applied through a few people but i was scammed, not until i found Mr George who saved me from scammers, i got my blank ATM card in 5 days after application and tried the encrypted card in an ATM machine and pos cash store to my greatest surprise i was able to withdraw $3000 and that was the daily rate i applied for. to be honest there is no risk involved the card is not traceable and has an infrared signal that blocks off CCTV during your withdrawals. i just payed my daughters tuition fee and cleared my mortgage debts, i am also richer and started a business that is doing fine. Mr George is really a life saver and he is very genuine. You can contact him with this email address: blankatm402@outlook.com
Best wishes

chris brankfurt said...

PLEASE READ PLEASE READ PLEASE READ
Hello everyone, i would like to share my experience on this platform. i have been hearing of Blank Atm for a while and i applied through a few people but i was scammed, not until i found Mr George who saved me from scammers, i got my blank ATM card in 5 days after application and tried the encrypted card in an ATM machine and pos cash store to my greatest surprise i was able to withdraw $3000 and that was the daily rate i applied for. to be honest there is no risk involved the card is not traceable and has an infrared signal that blocks off CCTV during your withdrawals. i just payed my daughters tuition fee and cleared my mortgage debts, i am also richer and started a business that is doing fine. Mr George is really a life saver and he is very genuine. You can contact him with this email address: blankatm402@outlook.com
Best wishes

Unknown said...

MOST POWERFUL AND REAL SPELL CASTER AND LOTTERY SPELL CASTER DR GBOJIE +2349066410185

What a miracle to have my ex back  and i need to share this great testimony... I just want to say thanks Dr gbojie for taking time to help me cast the spell that {now my husband},who suddenly lost interest in me after six month of engagement,but today we are married and we are more happier than never before, I am really short of words and joyful, and i don't know how much to my appreciation to you doctor gbojie you are a God sent to restore broken relationship.he deeply enjoy helping people achieve their desires, find true love,getting their ex lovers back,stop abusive relationships,find success,attract happiness,find soul mates and more,contact him today. and let him show you the wonders and amazement of his Love Spell System. He deliver results at his best in real spell casting,email him for help on gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com or gbojiespiritualtemple@yahoo.com you can also call him on +2349066410185  website : http://gbojiespiritualtemple.website2.me/

Unknown said...

Hi everybody. I recently saw a testimony about chief dr lucky in a blog I visit for relationship and dating counseling problems because i had been having serious issues with my boyfriend and we had been dating for six months, he just suddenly changed, he wasn't returning my calls,he started cheating,he was hurting me in many ways i never thought possible and I just thought I should try it*maybe out of desperation of some sort*..and I contacted chief dr lucky ..At first everything felt dreamy and unbelievable, his consultations and solution was a little bit easy and strange and I was scared a little cause I heard read and heard lots of stories to of fake spell casters,scams and i never really believed in magic..I played along with a little hope and and faith and I sent some few stuffs after everything and it worked like a miracle,everything went to a while new direction,it was and is amazing...I guess it was all good faith that made me read That particular post that faithful day..I hope he could help other people too like he did me...I did a little and I got everything I wanted and wished for*my husband,my family and my life back. E-mail: Cheifdrlucky@gmail.com or contact him on whats App him +2348132777335 Website :http://chiefdrluckysolutionhome.website2.me/