So you can read my books

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


We write.

We strive.

We bleed the ink the page before us has been needing.

And for what?

That answer determines the manner in which we write :

hurried to meet some self-set goal


focused like light through the prism of our soul to cast the light of our dreams

onto an imagined page some unknown reader will read, becoming lost in our imagined worlds :

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.

To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence,

is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...

Anybody can have ideas--

the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."

- Mark Twain in a letter to Emeline Beach, 10 Feb 1868.

Will we be understood?

Thomas Bailey Aldrich, in a review of Emily Dickinson’s poetry published anonymously in the Atlantic Monthly, January, 1892 :

"But the incoherence and formlessness of her —

I don't know how to designate them — versicles are fatal….

An eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse in an out-of-the-way New England village (or anywhere else) cannot with impunity set at defiance the laws of gravitation and grammar."

Whose name is familiar to you : the poet's or the reviewer's?

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

- Emily Dickinson

Have you noticed that much of the fiction out there has become more and more stylised, more and more cut off from ordinary feeling?

Is it that so many have come to regard everything in the world around us as fiction.... All the structures in it, flyovers and motorways, office blocks and factories, are all part of this enormous novel.

And since all those around us are mere backdrop in the fiction of our lives, they cease to become living, hurting, feeling individuals.

Ernest Hemingway wrote :

"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.

Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing.

He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.

For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

You know that fiction is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing.

You do not have the reference, the old important reference.

You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true.

You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it."

Why do you write?

To touch one human heart?

To impress someone who may not even be alive, or if alive, does not see you as your dreams and soul truly are?

To make the bestseller lists?

To become wealthy and famous? To support yourself comfortably?

To tell the stories that burn to come out and sigh in relief as you type them into being?

Why we write determines how we write and how much pleasure we derive from it/

What do you think?


  1. I couldn't agree more that why we write determines how much pleasure we derive from it. So true! I write because my characters can't and their stories deserve to be told.

  2. I write for the delight I can cause myself when something completely surprising comes pouring onto the page--for the overwhelming feeling I can get when I move myself to tears or make myself squeal with delight. For the satisfaction of an elegant solution that pulls a story together. There is pride involved. And there are long waits in between. Not everything I write does it.

    I WOULD like to be read. I think on that front, I would prefer to be thought of as entertaining and clever than 'good'. Critical acclaim doesn't matter as much to me as touching emotion, whether it is laughter, tears or satisfaction. But I would write even if I knew no one would ever read.

  3. I began writing so that I could more clearly see the adventures I'd imagined. I could not make a movie to match my vision, so I wrote.
    I hope that I can still clearly see those adventures as I write one more for fans who expect it.

  4. Heather :
    Sounds like we're kindred spirits when it comes to writing.

    Hart :
    Like you, I write for the sheer delight of completing the adventure in my head. Also like you, I WOULD like to be read and enjoyed! LOL.

    Alex :
    I believe only George Lucas would have the pockets deep enough to make movies of our adventures. Sadly, he is not knocking on my door. So prose seems the way to go!

  5. Hi Roland. Like most writers I write because I can't not write, simple as. A life without writing would be a rather empty life - why all that people watching, nature watching, introverted thinking otherwise? I think God touched us with the writing gene and even if we never publish a book or a story, we will be the richer for it.

    This would have been a good post for the Insecure Writers Support Group - geek! Next Wednesday!

    I've put linky up for Ties That Bind for anyone who may want to post early and get back to New Year's celebrations!

    Happy New Year!


  6. Denise :
    As with you, writing is a part of me. I wrote short stories long before I sought publication.

    Yes, this would have been a great post for the Insecure Writers Support Group. What can I say? I need a secretary. I wonder if Megan Fox is free? LOL.

    I have already scheduled by Friday's TIES THAT BIND post for Thursday midnight.

    Happy New Year! Roland

  7. I write because I think I have interesting stories to tell and hope to share them.

    Have a wonderful 2012, Roland!

  8. I love the Ernest Hemmingway quote, and hoping to not look like a complete reading heathen, I will confess to not having heard it before.

    It's a ridiculously hard question- why do you write? It's something I've always wanted to do, yet never tried seriously until the end of last year.

    I want to be able to tell the stories of the characters in my head, in a way that people will enjoy. I want to be read as well. I'm not solely in it for the writing. I want someone to read it and enjoy it. If I can say someone has, then it will have been worthwhile, that isolation and lonely hair pulling I do when sat at my desk.