I never really fancied myself as a writer’s writer. Early on I’d make so many mistakes just trying to put my thoughts on paper that I’d simply give up. As a child I could never afford writing paper, tablets, journals or the like yet I found myself enveloped in one adventure after another by the books I read.
What is the purpose of writing, to become famous and sell lots of books? Anyone can string words together into sentences and paragraphs while following the proper protocols of writing. There are educational venues, specialized schools of journalism and writing with a central theme or purpose of getting everyone on the same page.
In school I was never at the top of my class. Dyslexia made reading difficult. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever consider venturing into the writer’s world. So I never really “got” what it took to become a really good writer.
I tell everyone that in life you got to have a “want to” in order to do or stop doing something. It could be an agenda, a goal, or a reason to write. There are different types of writers. Subject matter experts write on what they know or have learned over time with experience. Fantasy writers speculate on the “what ifs” of adventure. Writers of horror stories write to exploit the in ornate fear of man. Political writers write to embellish or slander politicians. Subtle writers draw you into the story until you feel as if you’re really there, living every word on each page.
The Bible tells us that God created by speaking words. It goes on to tell us that words bring either life or death. For the writer to put words on paper is no different that someone speaking words into the air. It behooves us to be mindful of what we do, say or write.
Looking back I guess I became a writer with the advent of typewriters, word processors and computers. In the military there were reports to write, assessments to put down on paper and instructions relayed to subordinates. Often I’d find myself proofreading the reports of others. Taking higher education courses required precise writing of computer code giving instructions to have the desired output. A number of times I’d attempt to write my biography or history of my military career, only to scrap it at the last moment.
A serious event in my life which I titled “Adrift in the Panama Canal” was my stab at documenting the capsizing of a small fishing boat and the life or death struggle of two real life scuba divers. My initial goal was to have the article published however my writing skills were not perfected yet. More recently I did manage to write a blogpost detailing the event.
For me writing is not about tabulating the number of readers or seeking their comments, it’s about presenting the truth in a way that compels the reader to give it serious thought. There are times where I might even misuse a word, or use the wrong word. I assure you it is unintentional. What I consider a cardinal sin of writing is when misinformation and/or slanderous articles are intentionally written and passed on as truth, and then picked up by others and spread like gossip across the face of the planet.
There have been times that I’ve been asked serious questions about certain people and when answering those questions with facts, my written answers are tossed aside as rubbish, because a preconceived notion based on misinformation is more acceptable than fact. I’m reminded of the saying “not to argue with a fool because he’ll beat you with experience and others will not be able to tell the difference”. Or another saying “it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.
Writing is about choosing battles. Not every battle is one you should fight. Not every fight will you win. When I write it is to educate, entertain, or inform and quite often it’s simply because I can. Writing doesn’t make me better or smarter it’s just my way of coping in a world gone haywire. – RTM
One thought on “A Writer”
Truckmaster, I rather enjoy your writing. All you say is true. Like you, I started writing at an early age, around 9, and on a Big Chief Tablet, with No. 2 school pencils. I use my blog to put my stories out there and don’t care about likes and stats. I am compelled to write what I feel and know. My best thing was taking two years of typing in high school. I was one of the very few boys in those classes, but it made me a better writer, as did my English and creative writing teacher, Mrs. Mischen. Keep it up, not everyone has the knack to put words to paper in a structure that tell a story, but you, do. Who came first, the writer or the author?
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