“I Wanna be a Writer.”

hemingway.jpeg

At least two or three times a month, someone will tell me she wants to be a writer (and yes, it’s usually a woman.)

“Great!” I say feigning enthusiasm. Silence – her turn to speak.

“Uhh, but how do I begin?”

“Now this is going to sound dumb,” I say, “but – you’ve got to write.”

She frowns. Then, “I write a lot of poetry.” Expectant look. My mind groans.

Me: “It really depends on why you want to write. Writing poetry is fine but there’s not a big market for it. Writing is good to organize your thoughts and express yourself – but it’s almost impossible to make a living at it.”

She: “Do you write everyday?”

Me: “Oh yeh – almost every day.”

She: “How do you sell it?”

Me: “Actually, I sell very little of it. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a client who needs a speech or article but mostly, I write because I love it. I write in a blog almost every day, I write in a political forum three or four times a week, and I write a lot of e-mails and sometimes letters. I just love to write.”

She: “Do you think you can help me get started?”

Me: “Of course. I’ll give you the same offer I’ve given to people for years: write three sentences a day and send them to me. I’ll read them and make constructive suggestions.”

She: “Just three sentences a day – on anything?”

Me: “Three sentences on anything you want – every day.”

She: “Wow. That’s pretty simple. I just might take you up on that.”

You’ve probably guessed the ending. Out of the dozens of people to whom I’ve made this offer, not one has ever sent me a sentence. Not one.

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4 Responses to ““I Wanna be a Writer.””

  1. Bill says:

    You had a photo of Hemingway with this blog. Ernest made a point of writing around 500 words per day, give or take. If he knew a day would be lost to fishing or entertaining, he would double up the day before and write around 1000 words. He was very disciplined in that way because he knew the truth of what you told that woman. If you want to be a writer, you have to write.

  2. Rich Gardner says:

    “I wanna be a millionaire.”

  3. amy says:

    Omg they all write poetry. People who dont write, that is.

  4. Frank Paolo says:

    And it never rhymes!

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