When I was thirteen, my dad brought home the family’s first typewriter, an IBM correcting Selectric II. I was fascinated, and spent hours writing back-cover blurbs to books that stood no chance of being written. They typically went something like this:
“Brittany is torn between her love for two men–the boy-next-door Jake and the dashing stranger Xavier. Knowing that fully loving one would mean giving up the other makes for an impossible choice…until someone new enters her life and gives her the courage to see things clearly.”
Nothing like a cheap romance. I could never write a book like that today (well, never say never, I suppose), but there was a time in my life when I contemplated writing Harlequin romances to make some money. I’d never read one, but I figured, how hard can it be? Then I read one, and thought, I’d be selling my soul. So much for that writing career.
I turned to my next writing venture, the one I’d studied for–newspaper reporting. For two years I covered city council meetings for a weekly newspaper. I loved it. I especially loved the fact that my coverage of some controversial issues garnered criticism from some city council members. This was to a point where one city took to having their “real” meetings before the scheduled time, only to put on a show of solidarity for me. They got in big trouble for that one.
I didn’t see a future in journalism, however, and got a series of jobs in communications. Still, they couldn’t (and still can’t) completely take the journalist out of me. My strength was in media relations, pitching stories to newspapers and television newsrooms. I was, if I do say so myself, pretty good at it.
Today my writing is solely for personal, and not professional, satisfaction. I’m working on a novel, although I struggle with it mightily. I belong to a writer’s group that provides critiques and encouragement for my efforts. So far, the first few chapters are going well. I just don’t really know where the book is going. Hence my struggle.
To all you writers out there (and I know there a many in the blogasphere), I say, keep on writing. Find others who are doing the same and share stories and ideas with each other. You may never make a profit with your writing, but that’s not the point. The point is your soul needs it. And that’s enough to hit those ol’ typewriter, I mean laptop, keys again and again.
Image Credits: Typewriter keys © Miguel A Padriñán–stock.adobe.com; Reporter © Sergio J Lievano–stock.adobe.com.
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