This Blog: Welcome to Story Life, a blog about writing, creativity, adventure, and all things in between.
About Me: My name is David Ben-Ami, but some of my friends call me Dave. I’m a twenty-seven-year-old writer and (not so) recent graduate from Vanderbilt University with a double major in English and Economics. I currently live in DC. In February 2019 I left my job at a consulting company to pursue my dream of becoming a fiction author, and I’m currently working full-time on my debut novel. Outside of writing, I love every single D.C. sports team, going out with my friends, watching great TV and movies, traveling, and going to the gym. Of course, I also love my dog and my girlfriend (in that order).
I started this blog several years ago because I was supposed to ‘build an author platform.’ I lost the thread of it several times, only to find it again, and now it’s much more than it used to be. I keep blogging because I love it. I love the people I get to meet, the way I get to express myself, and the accountability of blogging. Writing a blog post that really shows a piece of who I am makes me happy. I think that there are worse reasons to do something.
Why Writing? There are a lot of way to answer this, but the simplest is that I’m obsessed with a good story. Not only in books but in movies, TV shows, and even plays. I think that Game of Thrones (the books and the first 6 seasons) is some of the best entertainment ever created; the first season of Westworld is such a masterpiece that I could watch it 20 times; even shows with smaller budgets like The Magicians (based on Lev Grossman’s novels) hit a vein of truth with some episodes that is to be admired; the musical Wicked makes me laugh and cry every time I see it.
There’s something about a fictional story that can capture some special piece of human existence even better than real life can – stories make you realize things about yourself and ask the tough questions. Stories can be a study on larger things like right and wrong, society, memories, forgiveness, the nature of evil. I guess that it’s the chance to write a compelling story, and capture something more than just the thrill of the ride in it, that keeps me fascinated and keeps me going. It’s important to have balance – not a story so heavy on message that it’s slow, but also not a story so exciting and quick that it’s too thin. I think the best books are the exciting ones you read without being able to put down, but can’t stop thinking about after you’re done.
If I were to cut out all the geekiness above, I’d just say that stories are really freaking entertaining, and I love them.
If you want to ask a question or just say hi, send me a private message from the ‘Contact’ page in the menu header. You can also follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@Dibenami) for more posts, links, and quotes about writing.
Here are a few more, sometimes random, things about me:
Where are you from? I’m from Rockville, Maryland. When people ask me where I’m from I usually just say DC because it’s easier. I graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, which is at the top of my recommendation list of cities for people to visit. I came back to DC to work at a consulting company, where I spent 4.5 awesome years and wrote during my free time. Since February 2019 I’ve been writing full-time, still living in downtown DC.
Did you want to be a writer growing up? Nope. Not even close. I didn’t start entertaining the idea of being a writer until 9th grade. Through my entire childhood I always wanted to be an NFL running back – a dream I held onto until I realized I broke a bone pretty much every time I played a contact sport.
What is your favorite book? What a stupid question to ask me, David. It’s obviously Harry Potter. If anybody dares say anything other than Harry Potter I am prepared to fight them. (The tier right below Harry Potter is littered with books from The Stand and The Shining, to A Song of Ice and Fire – the Game of Thrones series, to The Silence of the Lambs. Honorable mention to His Dark Materials).
What is your favorite movie? Another no brainer. Star Wars, although that’s actually six movies (kind of funny that I wrote this initial About Me page before they rebooted the franchise). I just can’t stop admiring what an incredible story and universe that series created. But perhaps my favorite thing about it was how they humanized Darth Vader in the form of Anakin Skywalker in the prequel movies (even though the original trilogy was miles better). You really understand the choices he made and see the tragedy behind the way he was manipulated. If I had to choose a single movie I’d choose Inglourious Basterds (yes, that is how the movie is actually spelled). I took a class on War on Screen last semester, and if you’ve watched that movie less than three times you’re really missing out. I laugh more at that movie every single time I watch it. Honorable mention to The Dark Knight.
What is one other thing that people should know about you? I love people. It sounds obvious, but I’m serious. People are great. I love my family and my friends. I love going out with them. I love sitting on the couch watching sports and laughing with the guys. I love the jokes you can start to make when you spend a lot of time over consecutive years with the same people. I love the random people I meet in DC. I love imagining things about groups of people I pass on the sidewalk. I love the characters I create. I love the characters I read about. I find it hard to write because it’s a solo activity, so I spend my time working at it furiously and concentrating hard because I know that once I finish I’ll be able to go hang out with my friends and have a great time.