When I told a professor many years ago that I wanted to be a writer, he asked me what I was writing. “Nothing, yet.”
“Then you’re not a writer. Writers write.”
I seem to fall into some odd in between category for writers. I love to write – the creative process, the sound and feel of a delicious sentence – but I’ve never been driven to write. I don’t journal, I have no sheaves of short stories stashed away from years of trying. What poetry I once penned has long been discarded.
In fact, aside from the hundreds of bylined articles I wrote during my years as a journalist, I’d written very little until one day a novel reared up, amorphous but almost fully realized, in my head.
That novel has also been discarded. I wrote it – all 100,000 words – in seven obsessive weeks in the middle of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. When the exhilaration of completion wore off, it became pretty apparent that it stank, quite as rotten as the dead sea life washing ashore on the Gulf’s beaches.
But I learned a lot from the writing, and the revising. The book led me to my first writers’ conference, my first encounter with the ever-changing realities of publishing, and my first critique group. Perhaps I should print all its thousands of hurried words and bronze them, like baby shoes.
I’m well into my fourth novel, now, and starting a new journey toward independent publishing. This website is where I’ll share my hopes and my irritations, about writing, publishing, and lots of other completely unrelated things.
Enjoy the write.