Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I didn't always think I could be a writer

I'm not sure I can be, even now. A writer? Am I a writer?

They say it's a feeling you have, a voice that talks in your head, whispering, "Someday I may write a book about this or that." I don't think I ever had that. No voice in my head. Even if I've written a couple books now, I don't have that little voice --- Why is it always a little voice anyway? --- telling me that I can write.

I don't have any quirky ideas about writing; at least I don't think I do. Maybe I do, but I don't go hunting for special stationary or go looking for the right pencil like Steinbeck did. I just get busy and put words down the best way I know how. I am always looking for more efficient ways to do it, to do it in ways so that I don't have to jeopardize my time for other frivolities. I want to get it done. I'm not into it enough to like it, I guess. Not enough to not want to leave and do something else. Watch television. Vegetate. Read.

I suppose I haven't done it enough or been exposed to it sufficiently to think it's good writing or for somebody to say it is. I suppose, if I'm truthful, I have gotten some positive feedback. It isn't all negative. But it isn't all positive either. Nobody's raving about it, that's for sure.

When I write, I find it is sometimes very challenging to get my words down just the way I want them. It is difficult just to let go and say on the page what I want to say without hesitating to deliberate the placement of a particular word or the selection of the word itself. I want to make my phrases sing and my sentences perfect, or, perhaps not perfect, but better, not embarrassing. Passable.

It is always a struggle, though. I don't write with a great deal of enthusiasm unless I have some extreme emotion. If I'm angry. If I'm sad. If I'm happy. Then it comes a little bit easier. If I have a target, that makes it easier to shoot. So I need to remember that. To have some emotion, to build it before I sit down, or, better, as I sit down, or, best, as the words flow out.

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