Monday, March 21, 2011

The Declaration

There’s a journey that I’m about to begin. I’ve done enough research to know that the road ahead is hard and quite possibly painful. I am taking a risk going public. For by admitting my desire, I expose myself. Should I fail, and the odds of success are probably 50,000:1 against me, then those I have told of the journey will know that I failed. But I will embark on the journey regardless. I agree with one of my favorite heroes, “Never tell me the odds!” I don’t know that I really have any other choice, so fully has the idea of completing the journey engrossed me.

What I seek on this journey is nothing less than becoming a writer. Of course, this is a misstatement in and of itself for I am already a writer. What I seek now is to become a professional writer, a published writer. There is a word that person, Author.

You've got to have something of an ego, or great hubris to believe you are good enough to be become a published writer. But my belief is not totally without foundation. I have had people tell me they see talent in my writing. These were people with no vested interest in me. They had nothing to gain from telling me their positive opinion of my work. In my youth, I had a couple of pieces published in the school literary magazine. Later, in my adult life, I had someone read a piece I had written and he remarked, “I believe you may have missed your calling.” Another person, who himself was an amateur writer remarked of a short story I wrote that ‘your story, in and of itself, is very good.’ These comments have led me to believe that I may just have some God-given talent.

But I’m smart enough to know that won’t be enough. I’m raw, and untrained. I know I need to work on my craft, and hone my writing skills. Writing fiction is easy. Writing good fiction is not. To that end, I’ve borrowed some books and magazines on writing from my Mom. I’ve subscribed to the blogs of writers, agents, and editors trying to learn not only the fundamentals of writing, but also the fundamentals of the publishing world. In a very important way, this is a journey I’ve already begun.

I do not embark on this journey with the desire to get rich. I do not want to write to get rich, I want to write to get read, to touch another person with a story and allow them to lose themselves in a story I have created the way I have lost myself in the stories I have loved. Of course, I would love it if I made enough from my writing to free up more time to write, but I realize that mountaintop is well off in the distance.

I have ideas for my stories - oh do I have ideas. I have too many ideas right now. They range the gamut of styles and genres. My first thought was to pick an idea that I didn’t like as much for my first story. That way this initial project would be something of a training exercise rather than ‘burn’ a ‘good’ idea on my rookie project. The more I considered my course though, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got to pick the one I’m most passionate about telling. If I don’t pick a story I’m passionate about telling, there very well may never be a follow up project.

So consider this your invitation to join me on this journey. Keep me from getting too high or too low. Should I share a piece of my work with you, please just be honest. I give you all permission to not like something I wrote. This is, after all, a very subjective area. I need people to tell me what they liked, but also what they didn't like. It’s only be seeing where I need improvement that I can get better at writing. This is going to be a journey that may take years, and cover many miles, and this declaration is but a first step.

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