I didn’t start out to be a writer. First I was a READER! I enjoyed comic books as a lad in the fifties. Then I had a teacher in high school who was (isn’t this everybody’s story?) in love with languages and she taught Latin as well as English. She lit the fuse and, ultimately, the rocket took off. I have never quite come back to earth.
After the blueprint of the structure of language was impressed upon my mind, I could follow the plan. The dictionary became my beloved reading resource. I bought or borrowed books indiscriminately. It wasn’t until I reached college and endured two semesters of “Literature” covering Cheever’s “ Wapshot Chronicle” and Mann’s “Buddenbrooks” taught by a grim and humorless professor that I realized that writing can be an art, and not everybody has the same taste or opinion of what is true art.
Does anybody ever suddenly say, “I want to be a writer”, and then become so without anything in between? It certainly didn’t happen that way for me.
In the early nineties, a local weekly newspaper had a need for a person to report on the controversy existing in my little rural town over the matter of a new sewer system installation. At the time, I had a need for some extra income. I brashly introduced myself to the editor, and after a lengthy conversation of ten minutes, was hired. Three years of weekly columns covering the doings and opinions in this township meant three years of meeting deadlines and exposing my work (writing) to public scrutiny. The editor once asked me to keep in more detail and not try to be so brief, but otherwise ran everything as originally written. That felt like a great compliment, and this confidence abounded in other facets of my life as well.
Later came a good job in a factory, a supervisory role in a quality-control setting. The fad suddenly was for all manufacturers to become ISO-9000 certified, and my employer was no exception. Suddenly, I was deep into writing policy and procedure manuals for a multi-national company that had surely “seen the light”.
Writing demanded an organized, coherent plan, and to be put on paper so, again, that blueprint came to the rescue. Nothing is so inspiring as the persuasion of the job, the process, and the deadline. That organization and persuasion spilled over onto other aspects of life as well.
Other may speak of fear of writing, writers’ block and such, but it is my belief that these can and will be overcome by writing what you consider your absolute best, putting it out into the public view, and then letting go of it. Everything will be criticized by somebody – but there will be somebody else who appreciates it. It is impossible for the same piece to please everyone.
This blog is a recent start at publishing my writing, and it seems to be a bit of a difficult fit at first. Like breaking in a new pair of shoes, I imagine, it will become more comfortable and accustomed as we get along. Just like publishing, confidence increases with each effort, each post. And it spreads its beneficent influences over all the rest of life as well.
Like stepping-stones across a creek, this post is intended to lead to the next one whose title is “If any one person can do it, anyone else can too*”.
This post is also an entry in a contest “How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life”, hosted by Positive Writer. See more about this contest at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-how-writing-has-positively-influenced-my-life/#sthash.3OsglZl3.dpuf