Why the Writing Thing …
January 2, 2009 § 11 Comments
For those who write, for whatever reason, this is a good time (the New Year’s beginning) to step back and look at it. I will say that writing is NEVER bad, never a waste, never time ill spent if the writer is communicating, even if only with oneself or a friend, or in business where good sound writing is critical to success (a topic on which this writer could expound for at least half a day).
1) writing is essential to any job, from teaching to training to being a team player to picking up trash. (Our trash man wrote a compelling Christmas card, and I dare say, he garnered some holiday cash from his customers, including us.)
2) writing is essential to stay in conversation with oneself. Not as in writing a letter to the self but in holding it up to see what’s there, not terribly unlike looking into a handheld mirror.
3) writing passes on stories, legends, myths, tradition. All of these are essential to the human species and tradition. Writing brings us to sit around the proverbial fire. It is from writing that we learn what was, what is and possibly what will be. And offers the oldest and purest form of entertainment.
4) writing shows a certain level of acuity, of daring, of being part of this world and pushing its boundaries in various atypical directions. Good writing holds us together; good writing separates us also, from the pack.
5) writing is exercise. And everyone knows what Americans think of exercise! Even if not acually performed, it must at least be discussed, knowledgeably.
6) writing is for everyone, is accessbile to everyone. I believe if it’s not in the Bill of Rights, it should be/have been. Surely they meant to include writing as part of the pursuit of happiness and worldliness.
7) writing is active; reading is passive. They go hand in hand. The latter can teach the former.
8. writing is always at hand. There is always a pen lying about somewhere, in the glove compartment, the handbag, behind the ear. There is always a napkin, a receipt, a menu on which all manner of things can be written, jotted, remembered, shared.
9) writing isn’t always good. All writing is not good writing. This is of little matter if one is “working” on it, if one takes the terrier dog approach and sets one’s teeth into the pantleg of the book and shakes and worries and works it ’til the writing is ready for release. Biggest writing mistake: sending raw unfinished works out into the world where they cannot survive. Second biggest writing mistake: not knowing, as one work’s in the singular vaccum of writing, when the work is finished.
10) writing does not have to follow the write-agent-publishing house-publish path. This is a classic path, one that may lead to a bookstore window winner, but there are other forums and publishing ops. The serious writer, the patient writer, would do well to look to these. It is time.
The above might ideally should be followed by some announcement that I am starting an indie press, something I’ve thought about for a long time. Or, starting a magazine, also a consideration, but no. That is not the immediate case. The press, the connecting the dots among writers and artists will come soon, after my work in the corporate world to help support the collegiate world (Snarl) is accomplished.
In the meantime, I am open to assisting anyone by reading, editing, coaching and otherwise regarding their writing.
My creds and email are on my About page.