National Writing Project

Why I Write: Tim Green Tackles Writing

Date: October 12, 2011

Summary: Former NFL player and bestselling author Tim Green describes how his love of football parallels his love for writing. "The thrill of creating stories that can change the quality of a person's life is as breathtaking a notion as sacking an NFL quarterback," he says.


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As a young boy, I had two dreams. I loved sports, especially football, so I dreamed of playing in the NFL. I had another dream I was equally passionate about. As much as I loved sports, I also loved to read.

Books could take me away to another time and place, a magical journey, a vacation for my mind. I would take my books with me everywhere, even to sporting events where I would read in the locker room right up until game time. Even as an NFL player with the Atlanta Falcons, I'd read all the way up to the time we had to take the field for kickoff.

Because books were such a big part of my life, and because of the impact they had, I dreamed also of becoming a writer.

To me, the thrill of creating stories that can change the quality of a person's life is as breathtaking a notion as sacking an NFL quarterback. So, just as I worked hard in the weight room and on the practice field to get to the NFL, I read and studied and wrote just as hard to become a best-selling author.

I learned that writing is really about re-writing. That's where it all happens. First, you have to get your ideas down on paper, without worrying about how good or bad it is. Just start. Then the real writing begins, re-working the story, the characters, the themes, over and over until it shines.

The greatest joy for me as a writer was learning that the experience of writing is as magical as reading a good book. When I write, I am taken away to another time and place, this time of my own creation, and the world around me melts away. Writing is work, no doubt. It requires discipline, relentlessness, and passion, but the experience is like nothing else.

So, while I always tell the kids who read my books to "Keep Reading!", I also am quick to tell anyone with even the smallest interest in becoming an author to "Keep Writing!" too.

About the Author Tim Green is The New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen highly successful suspense novels, including his newest national bestseller, False Convictions , as well the non-fiction bestseller, The Dark Side of the Game which was featured on CBS's 60 Minutes. While his first five novels used professional football as their backdrop, his most recent works have drawn more on his experiences as a lawyer exploring the themes of ambition and revenge.

During his studies, Tim also played football for the Syracuse Orangemen with a career that included a consensus All-American honors as well as his recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons where he was a star defensive end for eight years.

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