[This post is a result of a prompt from Today’s Author. I’m using it to further my pursuit in raising my writing skills. See what I worked on last week, Autumn Storm. This time, I’m trying to avoid the pitfalls of my inexperience showing up in neon lights. This means dodging words and sentence style a seasoned writer isn’t as likely to use. Read more about it at Rayne Hall’s post here.]
I’m a writer. I shy away from calling myself an author though. When I speculate on this term, my mind leaps right over to books. I think of ‘author’ as a classification under the category, writer. It’s just like I refer to those who write for newspapers and magazines as journalists. They’re writing, most assuredly, but their specialty is different from that of an author. I hold on to the thought that I do not have a forte in this field, at least not yet. So, I’m a writer. That’s it.
Each day at approximately ten o’clock in the morning, I’m hammering away on the keyboard of my computer. I’m attempting to write my first book. If I can accomplish this, I will call myself an author. Sounds simple enough, right?
Who am I trying to kid here? Writing a book is damn tough.
I glance at my emails earlier each morning, weeding out the ones I know, with certainty, I don’t have an interest in. I put the computer on ‘sleep’ and continue on with my morning routine. You know how it goes: brush the teeth, stand under the water of the shower with soap in your hand, attend to any menagerie of pets you may have, get clothes on that won’t embarrass you at the front door, and pour that second cup of coffee or tea.
I tramp from the kitchen to the first bedroom in the hall where my beloved PC sits. A little voice inside my head decides to assert itself. “Don’t turn on the computer,” she tell me, but I press the button anyway. She’s just trying to protect me. She doesn’t like it when I beat myself up. Nevertheless, I feel that push shooting down from my shoulders into my arms, hands, and then fingers. I must write.
Yes, I get hurt every time I type my life away. My spelling is atrocious. I can’t get through a whole paragraph without consulting a dictionary. My vocabulary is even worse. I’d gauge it to be approximately fifth grade level — maybe. Still, I can’t seem to be able to stop myself from clobbering this piece of black hard plastic in front of me.
I’m obsessed. I’m possessed. I’m all consumed by this labor. By chance, do I crave the emotional and mental abuse this activity batters me with? No, that can’t be true. What I long for when I write is the flow of words making a story come to life. The dream of creating such a work of art follows me wherever I go and whatever I do.
Yet, would I feel this enthrallment if I didn’t have a computer? Would I be sitting at the kitchen table with pen or pencil scrawling words onto the pages of a spiral? Yep, I do believe so, although I’d have to invest in a new dictionary and thesaurus.
Did I progress in my skills here? Don’t be afraid to tell me the truth.
The writer is committed when he plunges to the very depths of himself with the intent to disclose, not his individuality, but his person in the complex society that conditions and supports him. – Jean-Paul Sartre