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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Little More on Being a Writer.. then I'll hush up!

I guess my "whats a writer" post stirred Karen up enough to make a whole post on it. When I read it I found myself zooming in on certain sentences, so i copy and pasted them here along with flashes of thoughts that went thru my head as i read them.

The real test of writing is whether complete works are actually being produced, at a level of quality likely to attract readers. The degree to which the writer is inspired, driven, or even previously published is irrelevant

Ok, I can see the part about producing a finished piece of work, be it a book or an article. I just wonder how one knows it's of a quality likely to attract readers? I think we can all agree that, similiar to a movie or a painting, the attractivness is in the eye of the beholder. So.. just because "I" like it doesn't really mean it is a quality others will be attracted to. So how does one know?

A would-be writer who waits for inspiration will probably produce very little of value.

The words in this sentence that flew out to me were very little of value.
But I then question: who determines what is of value and what isn't?

A writer who writes compulsively suffers from a mental disorder called hypergraphia,

Ahhhh !! This may well be an answer I have needed to know! Thank you, thank you, thank you
Karen! It may well be the crux of all the questioning I have done about what is a writer!!

I once shared a home with another female who would tell anyone who would listen that "so and so launched her career as a writer, " and consistantly referred to herself as "a career writer".

Once, years prior to our meeting (when she was a teenager, and she was in her 40's when we were roomies) she wrote a story and sent it to an actor. The actor in turn had it put in a magazine, thus she had claim to the title "writer". However, it was not written with intent of being published, SHE did not seek out publication,.. it was all luck. (Also she was never paid for the piece)

From teenage to 40, still claiming to be a writer.. she wrote only in her journals. No articles, no books... just journals. Private, hand written journals. So, I ask.. did she really have claim to the title of career writer?

And someone who is deterred from writing by the belief that she doesn't have the right stuff is throwing away the chance to be proven wrong.

I know where this line came from, and I can only speak for myself, that I was never deterred from writing.. but from seeking an agent or publication. Probably because good is not good enough, neither is very good.. only excellence is accepted. (well, ya ain't gunna get it from someone who only got thru high school lol) Add to the fact that at my age I've had my fill of "not being good enough".. so the thought of the rejection letters sits a might uneasy.

After that, unless you really only have one story you want to tell (and probably even then), you need to write something else, or at least something more.

And if lightening only strikes once? And what is More? Is is writing in journals? Is it writing many letters? What if it's YEARS between writings because... maybe life has to bring the wisdom or the will or whatever it took to come out and write the first time??

assuming you have at least a modicum of literacy and good judgment.

Utoh, lol.. that pretty much leaves me out LOL.. I think I have decent common sense, but that doesn't mean it's good judgment lol..

But you'll never get there, for sure, if you don't write it, or don't finish it, or don't try to sell it.

Hey! two outta three ain't bad! lol.. sorry.. getting silly now lol.. It's a very true statement, but if i read Karen right.... you can be a writer and not be an author.. but if you want to be an author you must do "part 3"(sell it)...


Blogger Karen Funk Blocher said...

Pontifications continued from AOL...

As for your "career writer," this is clearly a case of inflated ego, not a writerly attitude. Career implies making a living as a writer, which this person did not remotely approach doing.

Yes, rejection letters hurt, especially if you're not thick-skinned about such things - and I'm not. It's hard not to take it personally, but you shouldn't. But you keep putting yourself down here, and that's a very different thing. Stop it, okay? It's not justified.

More writing is more writing - and yes, blogging counts. I'm a better writer now that I was the day I started Musings. And I'm a MUCH better writer than I was the day I started work on the first book. There is no reason to think that you only had one story in you, and it's over, and every reason to think that more experience writing makes one a better writer.

And I guess I'll crib from this comment again, for yet another blog entry!


4:56 PM  

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