Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same.
More than one person, doubtless like me,
writes in order to have no face.

Michel Foucault

Monday, March 4, 2013

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A WRITER?



Driving to the office recently, listening to a morning talk show, I finally heard something worth repeating. Dave Berry had called in and the group discussed the Miami Book Fair which is slated for November. Why they are talking about November in March is beyond my intellect, but that was up to them. I am guessing the other reason was the Berry’s new book is due out soon. After discussing the new novel, the book fair and a few other topics, one of the DJ’s mentioned to Dave, his son was an aspiring writer. My immediate thought was, I can think of a lot of things to aspire to. A writer is not one of them.

In true form (and with me in agreement) Dave responded, “Get ready to support him for the rest of your life.”

Think about that response for a moment while you ponder the fantasy of being a writer. If you have any cranial propensity at all you realize…it ain’t gonna happen. In short, Mr. Berry said that few understand the immensity of writing and a lot of “writers” create one book and think that’s it. He continued, “Most people don’t understand it takes more than one book to make an author.” The reality being that a writer will probably write a number of books before settling on that ONE that becomes published. He cited that StephenKing wrote a large number of manuscripts before ever writing something that would sell. The fact is that most writers are writers long before they become writers and even with alliterative resolve, forming two words in harmonic repose is really, really difficult.

Granted, our dream is not necessarily focused on being the talent giant Stephen King represents, or being as prolific and humorous as Dave Berry. Most writers simply want to tell a story and most of that is directed at memoir writing which is typically what one will find with the writer’s groups dotting the countryside. Still, even these hapless souls would be thrilled at the aspect of completing a manuscript inevitably becoming obsessed with their little darlings to the point of boring the shit out of everyone within earshot of their voice. That said; I don’t know what the hell I want to do at this point but it has nothing to do with writing a memoir.

On a personal note, I am going to give it a year or before my mind (and life) calms down. Technically I can retire in about six years and the reality is I don’t have the time (or the inkling) to sit and write another novel—at least not until I stop working. Even then, I am sure that I will want to spend my time fishing and wondering the woods or ocean. I have two really good stories initiated but can’t seem to find the motivation to keep them going. Last year I lost my dad and my nephew and it kinda sucks right now. I miss both of them beyond any imagination. Maybe in a few months things will change. Until then, I have pondered extensively and have come to the conclusion that, while I like a good story, it’s probably best for me to be buying the book and not writing it.

4 comments:

  1. I've come to that conclusion too. Of course if you're the son of a famous writer it's a lot easier to get published.

    Sorry about your dad and nephew. Hope all else is well!

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  2. Hey Mutt. Good to hear from you. I think if you are the son or daughter or relative of anyone that is even semi-famous or famous for being famous it's a lot easier to get published. All is moving forward as it should which is sometimes the best one can ask for.

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  3. Steve, I'm sorry to hear about your loss, sometimes it's difficult to get back on track. But write to keep you happy. You're a good writer, so if you have to, write for yourself, just stick with it. Sometimes I reread my old stuff and think, "Someday I'll put this nonsense together and make a book out of it." Nobody will buy it, but what the hell...It's always a fun read.

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  4. George, Thanks for the kind words. I will get back on track and I do write from time to time. It's a long rough road...but we are not quitters...are we. Let me know when you are in town and we will grab Bob and dinner. Keys are good also...I am always down there.

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