Photo: Jules A
I remember my time as a new journalist for a business paper. I remember the events I had to attend, the free lunches I received, the special access that I was afforded.
I remember mingling with the other reporters, giving them a knowing nod as they typed away at their bulky laptops (workplace desktops were still a thing back then).
“Tight deadline, huh?” I’d ask.
I had it easy. My company went to print every week. These guys? They worked for the dailies. “You going to send this in by today?”
“No, by lunch,” my new friend would reply.
Photo: Timothy L Brock
I have no idea why people coo at the mention of me being a writer. It happens every time the conversation steers into the land of ‘What do you do’.
The replies I’ve gotten for answering truthfully could very well fill up a Twitter account, and that might just be the very thing I’ll do next. What’s that? You want a sample?
All right, how bout this gem from a guy: “You’ve just become ten percent more attractive in my eyes now that I know you’re an author.” No such luck with the ladies though, unfortunately.
Photo: Jason Strull
I’m fortunate enough to have grown up as a nobody who’d had a day job that involved public speaking.
What that taught me was that if I were to talk to a crowd of strangers, I better damn well have something interesting to say, lest I end up talking to a disinterested audience for however long it is I’m slated to talk.
Photo: Pereanu Sebastian
Ah, the infamous shitty first draft. The place where hopes are simultaneously born and slaughtered. The one thing that writers fear the most.
The first draft can be anything. I can write poop all over again if I want. Poop poop poop. I can, like, use punctuation however I like—I can even make sentences no meaning at all fire escape what yes.
Perhaps I’ll rewrite that later. Perhaps not.
But that’s the point. That’s what the first draft is. The canvas where you start creating your art. You probably thought that the blank page was the canvas. Well you thought wrong.
Photo: Sandhi Soemarto
I’m a fountain-pen enthusiast, and my ultimate pursuit in this hobby involves finding my grail pen. It’s the perfect one that just glides across the page, is ornamented in a way that makes my heart skip, and can take enough of a beating to last multiple lifetimes.
But alas, as any other hobbyist knows, a grail is just an illusion, a placeholder until they find their next one, because there’ll always be something better, or failing that, there’ll always be something wrong.