What It Takes To Be A Writer
Stephen King is a friend but not in the Facebook way of friendship but that is ok with me because I am not someone who is willing to limit myself to conventional definitions of relationships which is probably tied into why some people wonder if I am in touch with reality.
But as I always tell the Shmata Queen I know things and not all of these are limited to having an imagination that never quits working or a fire in the belly that never stops burning.
You see when that woman asks me to explain myself I ask her if she has read my blogs because that is usually where you’ll find answers to most questions and it is where I hang out because as my friend Stephen says you can’t become a good writer without doing a lot of writing and reading.
I put on my headphones, turn on the music and turn inwards and think about the things that make me happiest and the things that are most painful.
The search for scars doesn’t take very long at all.
That used to bother me. I didn’t like admitting how easily I could find the scrapes, bumps and bruises and that sometimes they stll hurt.
Sometimes I wondered if it meant there was something wrong with me. Sometimes I wondered if it was proof that I held on to stuff longer than I should and then I came across Stephen’s advice and I realized I had discovered untapped riches.
What It Takes To Be A Writer
That quote made me realize I could look at those scars as being capped oil wells that were waiting to be drilled. All I had to do was start digging and I could mine the gold.
It turned heartache and heartbreak into something that had more meaning to me because I started looking at my experiences and thinking about why people liked some of those stories so very much.
Sometimes it was because they were clever but more often than not it was because people could relate to what they read. They remembered falling in love and they remembered falling out.
Didn’t always matter whether they broke up with someone or were broken up with, they remembered and if we painted just enough of a picture they filled in the rest of that empty canvas.
Sometimes I went through old letters and read them so that I could get a fresh look at what it had been like.
That is where I found notes where I remembered what it felt like to hear “you are the love of my life” or “this isn’t working anymore, good luck to you.”
It is where I came across notes from grandparents who told me about how proud they were of my accomplishments, offered advice and or congratulated me.
Those letters were fodder that fueled my imagination and gave me ideas about how to turn them into fragments of fiction. It is where TheJackB began to become more than just a blog where I recounted a few stories about what my kids do or did.
And now I find myself in a place where I am working on trying to add more layers and depth to the stories I write. When you build a tapestry you want people to see many things and you want characters that are complex because people are complex.
A while back I read several posts from bloggers who said they thought writing daily was a problem and that it had a negative impact on their blogs.
Some readers have complained about how frequently I update but I have found no better way to become a better writer than through the practice and discipline of writing daily.
Does it have an impact on quality?
Maybe but that doesn’t necessarily translate as being negative. It can always be positive too.
I be very curious to sit down with my pal Stephen and talk about some of these things with him too. I know from reading his book On Writing and from various other things that my thoughts aren’t so far off from his in some of these areas, but I would still like to drill things down deeper.
There are formulas and rules you can apply that will help writers become more successful. There are steps you can take to build your blog faster but the path I am trying to walk isn’t built upon formulas and concrete walkways that others have created.
What I want to do is incorporate those things and then erect my own scaffolding so that I can build the platform that works best for me.
And now if you will excuse me I am off to pick at some of those aforementioned scars.