Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) turned to writing after the original series of Star Trek ended production.
Sitting around waiting for that next job to appear was not working out well for Koenig. “When the series ended,” he said, “I was without any employment. The phone didn’t ring, and I found myself having no reason to get up in the morning. It was that depressing.”
Koenig decided to do something to give himself purpose, to keep busy and to push away the depression. “I decided at some juncture that if I was going to maintain my sanity and some kind of emotional equilibrium, I had to give myself a purpose, a target, an objective,” he explained. “That became writing. It gave my life structure. I knew that every day I was going to get up and write for four or five hours. It brought some emotional equanimity with it.”
The end result was his first novel. “Over the course of about six months, I wrote a novel,” said Koenig, “even though I had never written before, and I put it away because a couple of people I started showing it to didn’t like it. A couple people loved it, but I always go with the people who didn’t like it. I assumed they knew what they were talking about.”
Not waiting around for the novel to be published, Koenig branched out into other writing projects. “Eighteen years later, [the novel] got published, but in the interim I started writing screenplays,” he said. “I wrote an episode of the animated Star Trek and [scripts] for several prime time televisions shows, then found myself on this course. I found it aesthetically rewarding and something I could always do when the work as an actor wasn’t available. I started writing, not because I was inspired by Star Trek to write, but because I just needed to find a way to survive. To psychologically and emotionally survive at a time when things were really kind of ruined. I had a wife and a small child, and I wasn’t making any money. I needed a purpose and to be committed to something. The writing provided that.”
Koenig’s latest writing project, a four-issue comic miniseries titled Things To Come, will be published next year.