Today my gravestone could read “Author”; though “writer” would be nicer I haven’t earned that, yet. I am a newbie at this. My résumé includes publicly writing daily for a little over two years, despite a bookcase lined with years of journals. Sometimes it’s a scramble when the evil twin Guilt, pushes the fun twin Create, into the back corners of my mind.
Anyone can be a published “author” today, I published a memoir and it was worth every penny. Being a writer is a daily endeavor. The wonder of the digital world means the sphere expands as you shout louder, or quietly read and comment on others’ work. My attention is now split between what I want to write, responding to those who so kindly took time out to comment on what I just wrote, and reading as many of other other’s work as time permits.
When I spend an average of eight hours a day, working at something that brings home the bacon, that’s a job. If I now spend an additional six hours a day reading and writing, that is a career. As it turns out, my job is a good source for a material, but the reality is, putting those hours in on my “minor” in this semester of life scratches the itch of my creative dream. I come home and work (read, write, respond) for an hour then take a break for dinner and NH Chronicle. We have only one television station in New Hampshire and they do a damned good job of not being hokey.
Then it is back to polishing and reading. It is an honor to be asked my opinion on someone’s work – to write is to open a window on your soul for the world to see. I believe every writer, of every genre, shares or exposes a corner of their mind and that is a noble act. The highest compliment anyone has paid me is to say my writing improves with time and work. I don’t take this comment as a negative, quite the opposite, this is a true compliment that I am working on my craft. I knew I had something to say, putting it into a form that is relevant is my goal.
From one would-be writer another who aspires, don’t junk those thoughts and words you carefully crafted. Polish them and cut them to the bones. Let them sparkle then read, and read some more. Literary magazines, other’s blogs, articles in the New York Times that catch your eye. Immerse yourself in words for a decent chunk of your day and realize, you are just scratching the surface…