All Things Writing

How My Past Jobs and Experiences Influence My Writing

August 01, 2020 Bryan the Writer Season 1 Episode 19
All Things Writing
How My Past Jobs and Experiences Influence My Writing
Chapters
All Things Writing
How My Past Jobs and Experiences Influence My Writing
Aug 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 19
Bryan the Writer

I think we often underestimate how our silly little jobs impact us. I tell my kids, well not really kids anymore, to value the first jobs they had since those jobs are the ones which will set the tone and flavor of what they will do the rest of their lives.

Jobs Bryan the Writer has Had:

  1. Paper delivery boy
  2. Golf Caddy
  3. Burger King 
  4. Old Country Buffet
  5. Excelo Bakery
  6. Lightly Epicurean Deli and Catering
  7. Pizzahut Delivery Driver
  8. Famous Footwear as a shoe salesman
  9. Sheriff’s Department Uniformed Volunteer
  10. Morries Subaru as a parts driver
  11. Fire Fighter
  12. Hilltop Family Restaurant as a cook/dishwasher
  13. Mankato State University as his assistant
  14. School Bus Driver
  15. City Bus Driver
  16. Taco Johns restaurant in Mankato
  17. Correctional Officer
  18. Geographer at a bible camp
  19. GIS analyst
  20. Gas Main Inspector
  21. Car Salesman
  22. Concrete laborer
  23. U.S. Army soldier
  24. Analyst
  25. Author
  26. Podcaster

Now I am sure I have missed a few jobs in there someplace. Before you accuse me of not being able to hold down a job for very long, I think I should explain that every case where I left a job it was to seek out something better. I am not a huge fan of staying in one place too long as I like to try different things and indulge in my intellectual curiosity.

Those voices and experiences speak to you in a way little else can. It is because those experiences form the building blocks of who you are and who you will be in the future.

So, if you are young, and just trying to find your voice, I tell you to not give up too easy. The bumps and the bruises ahead of you will add to your personality and tell that little bard inside of you what to put on paper.

If you are not quite what might be considered young … or a more experienced writer, as it were … dig deep into yourself. Think about things that have happened to you in your life and draw upon those things in your life that bring you the pain the joy of yester year.

Writing is as much about feeling and emotion as anything else so if a memory brings a tear, then use it. Dive into that feeling and get it out on paper. Equally, if something made you smile, get that down on paper as well. It will result in the most genuine of stories.

Let me just give you a sneak peak of next week. You are going to get to hear from my beloved wife! She is going to be my guest and will talk about what it is like to the wife of an author and maybe offer a few tips and tricks to help your spouse or significant other deal with this crazy writing life we are all participating in.

-Bryan the Writer

Thinking about starting your own podcast? Hit up the following link to find the best way to get your show up and running from a group just as passionate about podcasting as I am. https://www.buzzsprout.com/?referrer_id=909964



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Show Notes Transcript

I think we often underestimate how our silly little jobs impact us. I tell my kids, well not really kids anymore, to value the first jobs they had since those jobs are the ones which will set the tone and flavor of what they will do the rest of their lives.

Jobs Bryan the Writer has Had:

  1. Paper delivery boy
  2. Golf Caddy
  3. Burger King 
  4. Old Country Buffet
  5. Excelo Bakery
  6. Lightly Epicurean Deli and Catering
  7. Pizzahut Delivery Driver
  8. Famous Footwear as a shoe salesman
  9. Sheriff’s Department Uniformed Volunteer
  10. Morries Subaru as a parts driver
  11. Fire Fighter
  12. Hilltop Family Restaurant as a cook/dishwasher
  13. Mankato State University as his assistant
  14. School Bus Driver
  15. City Bus Driver
  16. Taco Johns restaurant in Mankato
  17. Correctional Officer
  18. Geographer at a bible camp
  19. GIS analyst
  20. Gas Main Inspector
  21. Car Salesman
  22. Concrete laborer
  23. U.S. Army soldier
  24. Analyst
  25. Author
  26. Podcaster

Now I am sure I have missed a few jobs in there someplace. Before you accuse me of not being able to hold down a job for very long, I think I should explain that every case where I left a job it was to seek out something better. I am not a huge fan of staying in one place too long as I like to try different things and indulge in my intellectual curiosity.

Those voices and experiences speak to you in a way little else can. It is because those experiences form the building blocks of who you are and who you will be in the future.

So, if you are young, and just trying to find your voice, I tell you to not give up too easy. The bumps and the bruises ahead of you will add to your personality and tell that little bard inside of you what to put on paper.

If you are not quite what might be considered young … or a more experienced writer, as it were … dig deep into yourself. Think about things that have happened to you in your life and draw upon those things in your life that bring you the pain the joy of yester year.

Writing is as much about feeling and emotion as anything else so if a memory brings a tear, then use it. Dive into that feeling and get it out on paper. Equally, if something made you smile, get that down on paper as well. It will result in the most genuine of stories.

Let me just give you a sneak peak of next week. You are going to get to hear from my beloved wife! She is going to be my guest and will talk about what it is like to the wife of an author and maybe offer a few tips and tricks to help your spouse or significant other deal with this crazy writing life we are all participating in.

-Bryan the Writer

Thinking about starting your own podcast? Hit up the following link to find the best way to get your show up and running from a group just as passionate about podcasting as I am. https://www.buzzsprout.com/?referrer_id=909964



Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the show (http://paypal.me/BryanNowak)

Podcast 019

Welcome everyone to podcast 19. Today’s podcast was made possible by your generous donations to my efforts. I appreciate even the small amounts which have been donated to support my cause. Please, if you enjoy this podcast I ask two small things. One: Hit follow so you know when the next podcast comes out. Second, please consider making either a one time or a recurring donation to the show to support it. I cannot do it without you. 

If you make a donation I will thank you on the air and if you donate $30 or more, I will send you the book of your choice with a personized thank you inside.

In reality, this show would not have happened if it wasn’t for my friend Olivia who was the inspiration for this topic. She asked me if I would talk about my various jobs through out my life and how they impacted me to write certain books.

I think we often underestimate how our silly little jobs impact us. I tell my kids, well not really kids anymore, to value the first jobs they had since those jobs are the ones which will set the tone and flavor of what they will do the rest of their lives.

I think back to my days working in Burger King and understand that it was those days which I worked over that stupid flame broiler where I learned the value of thinking ahead, planning, preparation, and exactly why I wanted to seek that next better job. Working on a Burger King assembly line is not exactly where your career aspirations should end in my humble opinion.

So, what jobs have I had? Well, here you go. Olivia this is for you.

Jobs Bryan the Writer has Had:

1.       Paper delivery boy, when I was like 10

2.       Golf Caddy at Ravisloe Country Club, Homewood, IL

3.       Burger King, Minnetonka, MN; This was the one that sat at the intersection of Vine Hill Rd and Highway 7 in Minnetonka, no longer there. 

4.       Old Country Buffet, Minnetonka, MN. Also gone. The buffet was at the old 7 Hi mall at the corner of 7 and 101 in Minnetonka.

5.       Excelo Bakery in Excelsior Minnesota, which no longer exists

6.       Lightly Epicurean in Excelsior, MN; it also no longer exists, but it was in the building where the Excelsior Vintage Wine Store is.

7.       Pizzahut Delivery Driver, Excelsior, MN. Which, BTW is the best/worst job I ever had.

8.       Famous Footwear in Minnetonka, as a shoe salesman

9.       Sheriff’s Department Uniformed Volunteer in Hennepin County, Minnesota

10.   Morries Subaru as a parts driver, in Minnetonka

11.   Fire Fighter in the Excelsior Fire Department

12.   Hilltop Family Restaurant as a cook/dishwasher, Excelsior, MN

13.   I worked for Professor James Goff at Mankato State as his assistant

14.   Bus Driver for Manske Bus Service, in Mankato, MN

15.   I drove busses for the city of Mankato

16.   Worked for Taco Johns restaurant in Mankato

17.   Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Correctional Officer, Belton Texas

18.   Volunteer Geographer at a bible camp

19.   GIS analyst at Minnegasco Gas Company

20.   Gas Main Inspector at Blue Point Energy

21.   Car Salesman at Volkswagon

22.   Concrete laborer

23.   U.S. Army soldier

24.   Analyst working for Concurrent Technologies Corporation

25.   Author

26.   Podcaster

 

Now I am sure I have missed a few jobs in there someplace. Before you accuse me of not being able to hold down a job for very long, I think I should explain that every case where I left a job it was to seek out something better. I am not a huge fan of staying in one place too long as I like to try different things and indulge in my intellectual curiosity.

Even in my longest running job, working for the department of defense I have often found the need to do something else for a little while after a time. I need that change and challenge sometimes. I suppose that is really what I like about writing. You never know where an idea is going to take you.

That is where the point of this podcast really takes us though. Writers, or really any artist in general is the sum of their parts. You may remember me saying that in another podcast. But how does it translate?

My first novel, not particularly well written, was called “No Name” and the crux of that story really sprang from a memory of my childhood where I was stuck on the highway with my parents on our way into the city of Chicago. Traffic was backed up. And I thought about how great it would be to use a deep seated paranormal ability to blow the cars up in front of us so we could make our way down the road faster.

The characters in that book also come from my life experience too. But I am going to skip that novel and move onto a few that have more of a grounding in my own work experience so you can see what I mean.

My second novel is called “The Dramatic Dead”. Great little book. The main character is a guy by the name of Dirk. Now Dirk, in addition to running the cities only motorcycle garage, is also a private investigator. 

For years I used to drive a motorcycle. I had a Yamaha V-Star 650. I called it Rumbles. Good little bike. Some days I miss it. Guys and gals who ride are the best sort of people. They will give you the shirt off their backs and go miles out of their way to help a fellow biker.

In many ways, it is that kind of spirit that I like to see in my main characters when I write them. Dirk is that way. He will do anything for anyone, including the defenseless. 

Carrie, who is Dirk’s girlfriend in the dramatic dead series is a police officer. I studied law enforcement when I was in college, and as you may remember from my list of jobs, I was a volunteer at the local sheriff’s office and a correctional officer in the state of Texas.

She is sort of a conglomerate of all of the good attributes I saw in law enforcement. Some of the best people I knew and worked with. In many ways she is the ideal police officer to me. Not really someone who suffers fools well, she will put her life on the line for others at a moment’s notice. 

Keith is also like that in many ways, he is Dirks best friend in the series. Not only have I volunteered at a bible camp, I also have spent a lot of time working on church councils and in different aspects of the church. 

Victor is an interesting character in the series. Not only is he a contributing member of the investigative team, he is also … a ghost. More importantly, and Victor would be the first to tell you this, he was a proud soldier on the confederate side during the war of northern aggression, as he will call it.

Victor is a strong believer in his friends and that he is doing something good by contributing. You get the idea that he is working to atone for some sin. Although I can confess to never fighting for a rebel outfit, I did serve in the military for many years, a total of 17 to be exact, and count that as something I am most proud of.

As to why I made him a confederate is a deeper discussion. But the Cliff notes version was that I wanted someone who had questions and some baggage with him to deal with. There is another book in the series and I want to include a little bit of his personal beliefs on his service to what he saw was the cause and what he ultimately came to realize about his part in the war. Spolier alert. It is kind of a messy topic.

I don’t want to leave the topic of mysteries quiet yet. Since there is a mystery series I write called the Dean Cordaine Mystery Series. Dean is a 100% jerk. He is actually patterned off my brother, if you can believe that. I like to say he does all the right things for all the wrong reasons. 

Dean is a big believer in forensics and going where the evidence takes him. In my last podcast, I talked about a resource I use called the Idiots guide to forensics. Dean believes in forensics, but he is usually one step ahead of it anyway.

In my Horror novel Riapoke, you also see that part of me that was law enforcement as well as my interest in how churches operate. Most people don’t understand what it takes to make a large organization such as a church to run. 

In reality, there are volunteers to coordinate, salaries to be paid, there are electric bills to be paid, capital improvements to manage. You have income like regular offerings, some donations which are just good Samaritans who like the church and want to see it continue. My own church does open its building up to other organizations who pay a user fee for rentals. In short, there is a lot of things that happen behind the scenes.

You get a little bit of that in my novel Riapoke as well as law enforcement gone horribly wrong. You have an officer who suddenly finds himself on the difficult end of a moral dilemma. So, what is he going to do? Well, you will have to find out by reading the book, won’t you.

I suppose it can be said that in my novel crimson tassels, there isn’t too much of a tie back to my previous jobs, but since one of the main characters, Jack, is college professor one can argue it is there. I worked for a professor on a college campus.

Really, there is more of me in that book where the scene is set since I did grow up just north of where the book takes place in Illinois.

One of the jobs you will not find on my resume is either head of a criminal enterprise or space ship commander and you would be right. But I think a lot of people get confused with the idea that you have to write what you know. That statement is true, in a sense, but just because you have never been a propulsion expert on a spaceship, that doesn’t mean you can’t write about one.

In The Bagorian Chronicles, my scifi book, the way in which Trazhidoria Space Port is being ran is very much like a military base. There are guards and commanders. The security forces follow the orders of their leader. That is a natural world for me to work in.

Also, if you have read The Bagorian Chronicles, you will notice that Haley starts out as a delivery person. The delivery she is making goes horribly wrong when she discovers the recipient of the order is not exactly who she thinks he is.

That is directly drawn off a weird experience I once had while delivering a pizza to a customer. They invited me inside and went to get money, but they had no smaller bills and wanted to give me a fifty for like one pizza or something. There was just something off about this guy and I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Haley’s reactions to the situation were remarkably like my reactions in that situation.

And I think that is what the true value of having life experience is, as a writer. If I can be speak from the heart for a moment, I really do believe it when I say that school doesn’t make you a great writer just like music lessons will never make you a truly great musician.

You cannot, and you never will, learn what you need to know in classrooms. Music, writing, painting, working with clay, working with stone, or even being a great chef are not as dependent on what you learn in a class as much as they are dependent on what is in your heart. And the only way you ever fill that heart up is through life experience.

That experience comes from having a great friend, having a worthy adversary, breaking the rules and getting caught. The story in your heart which is translated in your head comes through you the same with it came from story tellers of old where they drew on what they saw and did. So those stupid little, seemingly insignificant jobs you had as a teenager, they mean something to you as an artist.

Those voices and experiences speak to you in a way little else can. It is because those experiences form the building blocks of who you are and who you will be in the future.

So, if you are young, and just trying to find your voice, I tell you to not give up too easy. The bumps and the bruises ahead of you will add to your personality and tell that little bard inside of you what to put on paper.

If you are not quite what might be considered young … or a more experienced writer, as it were … dig deep into yourself. Think about things that have happened to you in your life and draw upon those things in your life that bring you the pain the joy of yester year.

Writing is as much about feeling and emotion as anything else so if a memory brings a tear, then use it. Dive into that feeling and get it out on paper. Equally, if something made you smile, get that down on paper as well. It will result in the most genuine of stories.

That is it for me this week. But before I leave you today, let me just give you a sneak peak of next week. You are going to get to hear from my beloved wife! She is going to be my guest and will talk about what it is like to the wife of an author and maybe offer a few tips and tricks to help your spouse or significant other deal with this crazy writing life we are all participating in.

This is Bryan the Writer, signing off.