I am just finishing Why We Write edited by Meredith Maran. It is an an interesting compilation from 20 successful writers about their craft. As a writer I was interested in the thought processes that go into different people's writing and style. As is to be expected there is little consensus since each person has their own style. Several things struck me, though, and even resonate.
1. They can't NOT write.I agree with these in my own less than "acclaimed writer" place. I have 34 years of journals and journal-like notebooks from all kinds of times and places in my life. They speak of the mountains of northern Pennsylvania, walking the streets of New York with a friend, 30-days in rehab, mission trips in various places.
2. They've known this for a long time, even before they became "writers."
3. There's no successful short-cut or one style that will produce success.
4. Writing is work. Work you love to do and have to do, but still work.
5. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. (See #1)
They also speak of the day-to-day reflections of my life. I have always felt compelled to write.
Now that I am in semi-retirement I am going to attempt to make writing a part of my Third Career. I have the time, no full-time day job to worry about. I am not sorry that it has taken this long. It takes many of us a long time to grow young. I have also needed to fill all those other compulsions of my life, like helping people, counseling, ministry, etc.
So, for the next six-weeks I am going to focus on one particular set of writing. For the past six years I have been percolating a memoir and it's time to go back to those pages and pages in my journals where the initial writings took place. I am excited- and scared- of the process ahead. I will keep posting these wanderings here, but it is time to do "full-time" what I have been doing for so long already.
The best reason is always #1- I can't NOT write.