Why I Write

When I was a teenager, our history teacher played this series for us. I’d never before been interested in World War II. It gives a pretty basic history of the war up to 1942

But no….I’m not going to say much about World War II. Maybe. I’m going to try to explain myself. Why I think blogging is a better way to spend my time than say….watching situation comedies on tv…why I’m working harder on this blog than on the novels I “should” be working on. Why it is such good therapy for a tortured soul.

I’ve been a wannabe writer since I was about eight years old. I’m not sure where that started. I seem to remember when I read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, around the same time I was watching an episode of Buck Rogers. And somehow some girls in my class decided I was destined to be a writer and asked for copies of my first work. So I started on this lame comic book. Drew all the stick figures and ill drawn space ships. And the plot was basically me and my two best friends fighting a space war against some big bad space dude.

Yeah…my villain when I was eight was named…..wait for it….Zacallo! I think this villain is likely more effective….

The story grew and expanded in my mind. By the time I ran away from home it was an eight part series of books about several hero’s, one roughly based off myself if I were a weird Gandalf like space techno mage, three others roughly based off of high school friends who had somehow become space fantasy hero’s in my warped mind, and a couple of other characters that were pure made up fiction. I even started developing my own alien species, started inventing a language for one of the races of aliens (I still remember a few words and symbols), I put a fair amount of effort into those books for a messed up kid.

So you are asking yourself, “Why did Curtis Selby not become a household name in science fiction, and end up making at least a mediocre living as an author in the vein of Philip K. Dick, Orson Scott Card, or maybe even Stephen King”?

Who knows….had life gone differently…maybe I would have an android named after me…..personally, I welcome the days when the robot overlords put me in a people zoo…..

Well, I can throw out all kinds of excuses, and maybe they are valid, and maybe they are not. I know I slowed way down on writing when my sister said the books were a “waste of paper.” One of the few times she ever said anything like that to me, and don’t even go there, she supported me through some of the worst times of my youth. But everyone slips sometimes. Some slips just happen to be worse than others.

The longest, most devastating impact on both my writing and my mental health was my marriage. If I sat to write, invariably the woman that would ignore me for hours on end staring at the tv would suddenly need attention. She would read my stuff, “editing” it to her own ideas, throw it away, tell me my stuff was wicked, tell me I was writing love letters to other women. Likely this sounds pathetic. I can hear everyone…”I’d never put up with that. I’d just put her in her place. I’d just leave her.” Well, you are likely stronger and better than me. I’m glad the struggles of my life are so simple and easily dealt with.

I am the eye in the sky looking at you I can read your mind. I am the maker of rules dealing with fools I can cheat you blind.

So back to the question at hand. “Why write?” I’m fifty. Life is, best case scenario, about half over. And the remaining half is not with youthful vigor, but with the weariness of ever increasing old age. I remember when I was taking literature courses in my hair brained collage days, and the authors would compare their writing to children born to them. When I am gone, there will be two things. Hopefully. My son, and my writings.

Those who know me…..I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but I have done my best to steel myself to the possibility I may never see my son again. So….in this world, my immortality rests largely in the words I write. Possibly some of my friends are right, I should not worry so much about this blog, and get the book projects done. My only answer to that is….healing is slow sometimes. And some wounds never really ever heal. The scars in the hands of Jesus, they say, were still there after He resurrected. I don’t know, my theology is not the best, but I often feel Christians should quit expecting people to be more perfect than the Master.

Does this answer the question? Does this help, or is this just my angry rant against the world? Please feel free to leave comments. In the meanwhile, the video at the end….

My song to the world in general….yes, the light nearly went out, and eventually will…till it does….I write on…..


  1. NorthernOkie says:

    #1). I love the ironic humor created by the contrasts between your images and your writing — it literally makes me laugh aloud, and usually more than once per blog post.

    #2). “Yeah…my villain when I was eight was named…..wait for it….Zacallo!” So, WHO was this evil nemesis in your elementary class? — Obviously he was named Zac.

    #3) Writing is writing and practice is practice. At the risk of sounding snooty, blog posts might be akin to walking around the block and building up to one day running the marathon (novels).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Curtiswselby says:

    I’m so glad you like it! Someday we should get Stacy his cheeseburger


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