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So You Wanna Be A Writer

So You Wanna Be A Writer

Tags: humor, insight

Inspired by Rebellious_Soul...  Rebs


We live in an era of over-abundance right now. Too much of everything. It’s a candy store with endless glass counters filled with chocolates and caramels and sugary what-nots. We don’t even have to take a number. Just walk in and help ourselves.

The internet has laid the entire world at our feet. I can be in India or Kenya or the Philippines in a boot-up and a couple of keystrokes. When our internet goes down, it’s like a family member has died. Technology addiction will soon be the latest recognized disability.

What used to be difficult to achieve is now simple. However, abundance is a double-edged sword. Where there were at one time, only a few quality sites for writers to choose from, there are now many. Your first thought might be “that’s a good thing,” but it actually tends to water down or weaken sites like Storiesspace and others.

I started writing when I was ten years old to distract myself from what was going on at home. At that time there were no sites or even an internet. Everything was hand-written on scraps of paper and bundled into a shoebox. I wrote not for others, but for me.

Then came computers and the internet and options unheard of until then. In the late eighties, my secretary knew I wrote poetry and that I kept a notebook in my desk. Unbeknownst to me, she sent one of my poems into some society of poets she found.

A few months later, I got a letter from them stating that I was the “Golden Poet of the Year” and could I come to New York and get my award from none other than, Bob Hope. I really intended to go, but I started thinking about sitting at the same table as awards to people who wrote about wall-to-wall carpeting and how deep to plow for winter vegetables.

They sent my award to me in the mail, but what it did was open me up to greater possibilities. I transferred all of my work to “floppy disks” and had them labeled very efficiently. Then, at some point in the future, I was published in two overly pretentious volumes; Great Poems of the Western World, Volume II; and, Tracing the Infinite.

Like beauty, quality is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve never presumed to be a good writer. I do know all of the silent letters and usually when to put in a comma or a period. I am guilty of run-on sentences like this one where you start out trying to explain a circumstance to make a point in the story but get sidetracked and think you need a greater explanation and it turns into a whole new chapter and then you think, “Oh, well,” it’s time for dinner and a tuna sandwich sounds good but you don’t have any tuna, and besides it gives you cat breath, then you have to go out to the car and get the Tic-Tacs.

When I first came to SS back in 2009, there were some illustrious writers here. I felt like I was walking amongst giants and just tried not to get trampled. Some are still here, and new writers came along with fresh ideas and energy. It was a combination of old veterans and a brash youth.

Writing isn’t for everyone. Only the few. It is a self-rewarding endeavor. There are no confetti drops, no trumpets, and no parades. It is a small collective of like-minded writers who seek silent applause from their peers.

I don’t write as much as I should. I don’t read as much as I should. Hell, my wife will tell you I don’t do anything as much as I should. I’m like a fuse. I burn slow until I reach the charge and then explode. Sometimes, like now, I will have 4-5 pieces of work in various stages because that’s how my mind works best.

As a writer, I’ve learned that my greatest lessons have come from my worst pieces. Being my own harshest critic. That being said, a writer also has to have thick skin and an open mind to criticism. A jewel in your hand may only be a stone in another’s. It’s important to know that.

Most importantly, a writer has to be humble and make space for other writers. This isn’t a competition. You should loan your pencils and crayons when asked. Be a mentor or seek help. The roles are interchangeable.

So, you wanna be a writer, huh? Come on in… the water’s fine.

Hi. I’m LDJohnson. I’m a writer.


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It is intended to reflect an original work of fiction or based upon personal experiences. Names, characters, places, and descriptions of incidents are products of this author's imagination, fictitiously expressed, personal experience expressed either in detail or loosely referenced, or merely the humble opinion of this author. Any similarities to actual persons or events are coincidental and subject to this author's determination.

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