Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ever Want to Quit Writing?

Found this on; adviser Carey Tennis's worthwhile answer to a letter from a self-confessed "failed" novelist, age 60, who wants to give up writing because it just doesn't pay. It caught my eye because one rarely hear about anyone "quitting writing."

That individual letter writer, who signed himself "Lost on Boulevard of Dreams" has cancer, has a disabled wife who needs him at home, so can't hold a day job, and needs money. Maybe the view is different from age 60. But I know so many happy writers 60 and over -- some just finding their voices, getting involved in projects, mastering their craft, getting happily published; publishing themselves too. But "Lost" is actually considering suicide.

The adviser's answer says writing is about having a dream. I agree, but prose writing can be jimmied to be somewhat practical. I would have suggested to the novelist a few courses in journalism or creative nonfiction so he can write saleable things. If he says, "I can't, I'm a fiction writer," I would tell him he's creating his own artificial difficulty when he's got difficulties enough.

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