A Note Regarding Homo Scriptus
As a human who happens to be a writer, I’ve found my personal development has followed its own evolutionary path. Success, at least as it’s measured in our culture, has come sparingly, so I’ve had to evolve ways to keep me writing. Mostly these ways meant following an inner urge, an urge that for too long I kept under wraps as I pursued other careers. But eventually, the wraps started coming off, and now they’re off for good.
Having the wraps off meant having to learn about myself, how to handle rejection and maintain a sense of balance, how to continue writing in the face of continual distractions from the “outside” world. As a young man I knew I wanted to be a writer, I just didn’t know what to write about. When I finally started writing again after a long hiatus, this problem had resolved itself. Now my obsession is with the how, not the what, of writing.
I have yet to publish that elusive first novel, but I’ve learned that the journey from starting to be a novel writer to succeeding as a novel writer is a long one indeed. If I didn’t have an absolute passion for doing what I do, I would have given up long ago. What matters most is that I continue learning my craft, learning to harness all my creative powers in search of story and how to best communicate that story to an audience. It doesn’t matter how technically adept I am—if I can’t bring forward the passion I feel for my characters and their journeys I might as well find another career.
I once asked Jerry Spinelli how he got into writing children’s books. “I don’t write children’s books,” he replied. “That’s what my publisher calls ‘em. I just write books that mean something to me.” In this demographic-mad world, it’s good to remind ourselves that story still has the power to cross generational and cultural lines. At one time, when the storyteller came to the village, everyone came out to listen—there weren’t early reader storytellers, middle grade storytellers, or YA storytellers, there were just storytellers. So ultimately, though I may target my tales at a particular age group, my truest desire is to have them join the stream of universal story.
Member since 2001
Region: California: San Francisco North and East Bay
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