Vision: A Resource for Writers
Meet the Moderators
father was a scientist, a mathematician, and, later, a ceramic artist.
My mother had, in her youth, a voice to rival Judy Garland's.
Whether their talents had any impact on my view of myself, I don't know.
I do know that I grew up feeling thoroughly average.
I saw myself as rather stupid, actually.
For example, the other children, upon returning to school each year,
could always boast of reading fifteen, twenty, even forty books over the summer,
while I had never managed more than one. The
teachers never thought to ask, and I never thought to offer, the various titles
of those books read. So, I have no
way of knowing whether the boy who read forty books had included The Agony and
the Ecstasy (the book I struggled through that year) or not.
would not have defined myself as a writer in those early years.
I was, instead, an artist. A
pad of paper and a pencil was for drawings, not words.
I suppose I would have continued along that route if not for college.
I spent a year at a state college in Pennsylvania where I was disabused
of the idea that I was any sort of artist.
I was, it seems, not creative enough for even the freshman professors.
I left college, got married, had kids, and somewhere in the first decade of my
children's lives began scribbling down stories.
Most of those attempts were incredibly bad.
Actually, I began by scribbling poetry, but that was so painfully horrid
that I switched quickly to something that did not require a concept of rhyme.
am not a talented writer. Words do
not come easily for me, nor have stories always erupted in my brain like a
Yellowstone geyser (loud, strong, and on time).
Rather, it is the pure creative need that I can't escape.
I need to make something in order to be happy. Early, that something took the form of drawings and
paintings, later stories. Creation,
not fiction, satisfies the soul-hunger for me.
being particularly talented, it has taken me a very long time to compensate with
craft -- over 20 years, in fact. Part
of the reason for this is that I've taken a lot of time off from writing.
I've raised two children, both in their twenties now, worked at various
jobs from T-shirt printer to patent department secretary, been married, then
divorced, then married again.
spent long sojourns in fan fiction also. Sometimes
I wonder why I did that. That time
feels wasted, but I also met many good friends while writing for Pern clubs and
other fan groups. I think, perhaps,
I was running away. The larger
world of 'real' fiction, scared me. In
the end, however, my own 'fiction places' have always drawn me back.
have learned a lot about writing and writers over the years.
I have also failed to learn at times, allowing the opportunities to pass
I now wish I had embraced. Today,
as with the very first time I tried to write, I fluctuate wildly between
believing the thing I've just written is magnificent and thinking it is too foul
for a dog to sniff. I still strive
for the words, curse the characters, sob and scream and pull my hair out --
writing is a painful exercise. It
is also the thing I love doing above everything else.
not sure what this article was supposed to be.
Perhaps a history of my life, but, to be honest, I've had a boring life.
Perhaps I should be giving pearls of wisdom about writing.
I'm not sure I have any. Writing
is hard. Writing is rewarding. It
is fun, but it is also work. Beyond
that, writing is a road each writer has to carve for his or herself.
I wouldn't want to deny anyone else their own journey by promoting my
route as THE good one. (Unless you care to go to Scotland by way of New Zealand,
don't follow my example anyway.)
About the only advice I can give is: don't look back with regret. Whatever failures or distractions you've allowed yourself regarding your goals, those paths have made you the person you are. Enjoy yourself.