Before I begin regular blog posts, I want to make a general statement that tells you a lot about how I write. I understand that there are people who are filled with words just waiting to get out. They sit down, thumb their phones or tablets or computers and the words pour from their fingertips onto the screen. They can do it spontaneously, with no warm-up, with no mental provocation, with no preparation, and pick up in mid-sentence where they were hours before.
I’m not one of those people.
Ernest Hemmingway has this quote: “Don’t let them know you have to work at it. Let them think that you were born this way.”
I wish. I have to start and start over; I erase a lot; I revise constantly; I read writing books (more about this later); and I have been disappointed more times than I have been overjoyed.
It takes courage. It takes strength.
If you are a writer or want to become one or want to become a better one, then you need to have courage. There will be times when you read something a critic has said and, after imagining him drawn and quartered, you’ll shake your head and say that he’s probably correct and you should cash in your writers’ magazine subscription and put the money toward truck driving school.
It might be true, but I doubt it. You’ll need courage to go on; writing is not for the weak.
Courage, perseverance, tolerance, and even a rage in you not to give up.
Don’t worry – things will work out. Writing is a craft and you can learn it just like thousands of other people have learned it. It will take willfulness, and drive, and persistence, but there is a joy beyond imagining when you see someone absorbed in your book, your magazine article, or your newspaper column, and you’ll be rushing home to start another one.
Don Willerton has been a reader all his life and yearns to write words like the authors he has read. He's working hard at it and invites others to share their experiences.