I’ve learned over the years that there’s no easy way around the fact that writing, and improving your writing, is a process, long and arduous. It’s not like other professions. If I wanted to be a doctor, I would go to school, study hard, get good grades, take the required courses, graduate, get licensed, and get signed on with a hospital. If you want to be a writer living off royalties, well, good luck. There’s no amount of coursework, no pinnacle of grade achievement that can truly assure you a position as a famous writer. Do your best and if chance is with you, then you may someday get there.
Now I paint a pretty dark picture for aspiring writers. I don’t do that without making sure to mention this: the payoff is more rewarding than any other profession that I know of. I’m not talking about cash flow. Do the doctor thing if you’re interested in cash. Heck, go into any other profession besides writing if cash is you goal. I’m talking about influence and power.
That’s kind of strange to say isn’t it—that writers have influence and power? They do, there’s no argument here. It is a fact. A single document can change a person’s life, or can change an entire nation’s lifestyle. Check out the declaration of independence, the bill of rights, the bible, Shakespeare or Milton’s works. How many nations have these words on paper influenced? I just mentioned text that comes to mind, and you could fill in what I left out, but you get the picture. Having a command over words can give you influence over others—for good or for bad.
*This is part of a three-part post. The final part of this article will be up tomorrow.
I’ve been reworking City of Town a bit, working on formatting and giving it a double edit. I’ve heard from some readers that they had spotted some mistakes here or there, so I decided to go back over it. I’ve been able to clear it up quite a bit, making it read easier, restructuring some convoluted phrases, but haven’t found that many glaring errors.
Hopefully I’m not just reading past misspellings or incorrect punctuation, but I’m pretty sure this second edition of City of Town will be to everyone’s liking that mentioned they noticed discrepancies in the first edition. I’ll let you know when the second edition is up on Amazon.