I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Monday, June 30, 2014

Writing is breath

Some say the best is yet to come, I say it's here.

In the news recently a couple treaded water for fourteen hours and finally were rescued. On TV a woman crawled out from under her tornado destroyed home and smiled at the camera. A skier at the bottom of a crevasse climbed, and actually documented his way out of the icy hole. Remember the hiker who cut off his arm so he could save himself. They had in common, one thing, they never gave up

They never gave up.

As writers our day to day journey to publication certainly is not as life threatening or dramatic but sometimes after dozens of rejections and months of “no reply means no”, you begin to feel that if treading water, losing your house, climbing out of a pit and cutting off your arm would get you a book deal, you’d do it or die trying.

I’m not just talking about ‘the story’ which gets you read, I’m talking about the hang-in clichés’, the head down, one foot in front of the other, stay calm carry on demeanors that get you where you want to go, out of the hole and published.

This is for those who have never been, (but dream of by-lines and title pages), read.

This is especially for older writers. The ones who for whatever reason put aside the quest and didn’t take up writing until menopause cleared their twenty-eight day calendar and AARP became their pocket companion.

The stumbling-block, brick-wall, and preconceived notion clichés, that older writers are not as productive as those with hair, are tossed at us all the time. Not to denigrate younger writers, but we have, in many cases, something younger writers do not have: patience, fortitude and wisdom. We have a way of looking at things which levels life. Drama doesn’t make sense if you’re over sixty because bullshit is just another word.

Younger writers can take the scenic route because they have a lifetime to get where they want to go. We’ve already been there and are more deliberate with our words because we know the value of time; we want to arrive with a lot left over for the next journey. We have time too, we just don’t know how much, does anyone?

My first by-line appeared when I was thirty-eight, which is by no means old. After a few years of finding my way in, I backed off and didn’t write for almost ten years.  I wanted to spend time with my family not in an office writing about them. After ten years I entered my learning curve (I was fifty) and was trying to get somewhere unfamiliar, way too fast (fiction). Finally I realized my true writing form (I had turned 60) and dove back in (at sixty-three) as a columnist. I have never looked back. Actually that’s not quite true. I look back all the time, because often, that’s exactly what I write about. Reminiscing is okay if you put it where it belongs, behind you.

What I am trying to say is that no matter what age you are, never give up. You will want to; you may even set writing aside for a while like I did.  But writing is faithful and it doesn’t care if you leave it out in the cold for a while, it’s always there, and always waiting.
No matter the numbers, writing is breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment