Monday, January 19, 2009

Harry Gilleland Talks About Why He Writes

Since Harry is somewhat unique, being both a poet and a scientist, I asked his to tell us about why he writes.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

Actually, this happened the first time while I was a graduate student studying for my Ph.D. A journal article I had written for the Journal of Bacteriology, a highly prestigious journal, was accepted with minor changes required. I knew then I could write scientific material well.

It happened again when I started writing poetry. After learning more of the craft required, I knew I was a real poet when I started getting readers on Internet poetry forums telling me I needed to publish my work since it was good enough to be published.

What is going on with your writing these days?

I write poems as they come to me, not as often as in the past. I have an action-adventure novel in the starting phase.

What are your future goals for your writing?

To get better and better as a poet and to get my novel finished within the next year.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Since I am retired, I write in spurts throughout the day. I will write whenever the mood hits me during the day from early morning until late at night after midnight. I write for several hours, then have to move around to loosen my arthritic joints and back. Essentially, I have no set schedule or output requirements for each day. I write as I am driven to write.

Why do you write?

Writing is pure pleasure to me. Using words well so that I deliver my message precisely as intended gives me such a feeling of satisfaction on those occasions when I feel I have accomplished this.

I have so much I want to say that I have to write. It fulfills a need deep inside me. Plus, I want to leave behind something to represent who I was for posterity. I want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to know what sort of man I was once they reach adulthood. Even if I am dead by then, my writing will be their window into my mind.


  1. Harry, you have an action/adventure novel in the works? That's great. I can hardly wait to read it.

  2. Harry, you are a very interesting guy! I like that you are a science-based poet with a heart!

    deborah ramos

  3. Both Harry and Nancy need to check for information about an award for their blogs.