Free College Day


I’m doing a session for Free College Day at the college where I teach. It’s a fun way to bring people in to try out courses for fun. The professors choose subjects interesting to them. Things they don’t normally teach. For me it’s an opportunity to talk about those people who want to write and those people who do.

A lot of people wonder if they have what it takes to be a writer. After all, everyone has a book in them. They’ll tell you about it the minute they hear you’re a writer. The reality is that guidelines aren’t chiseled into a stone tablet or engraved on a plaque. There is no magic button you can press to determine if you are or aren’t writer material. Which is why so many people still have that book “in them” instead of on the page.

If you need the reassurance of someone telling you you’re a writer, you aren’t. If you need reassurances that you have talent, find another interest. In this one, even if you have talent, you may never see your work in print. If you write for that purpose, your chances of disappointment are too high. Writing requires more hard work than good thoughts and while good luck can come in handy, if the time isn’t put in then the work won’t stand up under scrutiny.

If you’re a writer, it’s because there are no other options for you. In spite of the agony, the despair, and the frustration there is no path that brings you the joy writing does. No one can convince you differently, because being a writer is deep in your gut. This is me. Would I like reassurance? Sure. Would I like hearing someone say I have talent? Do pigs love mud? But I won’t wait around for it because I’m too busy writing and writing and writing some more.

What about you, are you a have-to-be or a want-to-be writer?

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4 Comments

Filed under Writing

4 responses to “Free College Day

  1. P. Ehrhardt

    Me? Most definitely a have-to-be. I can’t wait for this free college day. Looking forward to it. 🙂

  2. Am I a have-to-be or want-to-be writer? Neither. I AM a writer. I live for writing, and editing my manuscript and working on networking and researching agents is full time job + overtime. I just tell myself that I’m going to work as hard as humanly possible as I can for this book. And, if nothing happens with this one, I’ll do the same for the next one. And the next one. And as soon as it is humanly possible for my passion, determination, and skillset to get published, it will happen. But even now as an unpublished writer, I am still, first and foremost, a writer.

    Thank you so much for this great and inspirational post. I will definately mention it on blog tomorrow.

    ❤ Gina Blechman

  3. Natasha Hanova

    Great post. I’m a HTB. Even with all the obstacles in my way, writing is my passion, my escape, my secret lover. I can’t stop thinking about it. It keeps me up at night. And when I do it right…ah, the joy.

  4. Diane Duane said something in an interview along the lines of… “My advice to you if you want to be a writer is… don’t. If you don’t have the passion for it, listening to that one word will save you many hours of pain, and if you’re truly a writer at heart, then I’m not going to be able to discourage you from it.”

    I’m definitely a writer at heart. I couldn’t stop if I tried.

    I’m starting up a ‘Critiquing Crusaders’ program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form critiquing circles. If you’re interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

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