Going from Trucker to Writer Pt. 1

Originally published in the Layover.com newsletter.

Being a trucker was and is still one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever done with my life. When I was hauling sand I can honestly say I never spent one single day doing the same thing. However, there were times during my career as a driver that I became bored. You can only sleep so long or watch so many DVDs. What do you do with so much time on your hands when you’re an “always have to be busy” kind of person? Sitting idly is not my cup of tea.
I had been introduced to writing as a girl, but writing in school was pretty much dedicated to specific assignments, not freeform ideas. I did it, but didn’t really enjoy it all that much. Even when I went to college writing assignments were somewhat directed, even though I was given more freedom to write what I was thinking. During that time, though, I did get a real taste for putting my thoughts down on paper. It somehow generated a lot of cognitive ideas for subjects that I would later begin writing about.
Fast forward to my trucking career. As we all know, downtime isn’t always productive. One day, I was bored to death sitting in the driver’s seat of my 2003 Pete, looking out the bug-stained windshield. I was contemplating the long extended line of trucks parked along the dusty caliche-rock lease road leading to the massive collection of fracking equipment sitting on location. I grabbed a notepad from the passenger seat and started writing down some of the thoughts I was having.
Yes, I was bored. However, on that particular day I was also angry about a few things that were happening to me on the job. One of the women that I worked with was giving me a really hard time. She was always criticizing my “rookie” driving skills. She would spread lies about me to other co-workers and management, and even though I couldn’t prove it, I knew she was taking equipment off my company truck. The worst part was I had no idea why this woman had it out for me! Not wanting to be a childish “tattletale”, or justify her actions with a response, I decided the best way to vent my frustration with the situation was to write down my thoughts and feelings. Needless to say, I started writing down just about everything that happened to me out there in the oil patch.
What started out as simple venting exercise, turned into journal entries. It was such fun reading over some of those old entries one day, that I decided I would really get even with my rival and write a story about her, making her a horrible villain who fed off of negativity. Mother Trucker and Trucktress were the magnificent results of that endeavor.

Read more from author Robyn Mitchell!