We need more writers

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There are too many writers in America and not enough readers. Everywhere I go, I meet people who are writing a book, a story, a poem, a play, and in a way I like that. I’m a writer myself so of course, I can’t help but be glad that there are other writers and that they are out there making stories, but what we really need is more people reading. It would make some of those writers better at their craft if they read more. We all need to read more, myself included. It really makes me laugh when people say that they are good writers but they don’t want to read others’ work because it might influence them. Really now? Dancers love dance. Artists love art. Photographers love photo shows. Winemakers love wine. Priests love holy water. I’m sure ministers love those stained glass windows, pews and arching ceilings. What’s not to love? I wish my bedroom had stained glass windows and arching ceilings.

We spend far too much time starting at small screens and big screens, tapping away at our keys. Ideas come from reading and from experiences, not from gaming, watching television and staring at our computers.

Literally thousands of students graduate from MFA programs every year, and for many of them the whole thing was worth it because—

1. They made friends and became part of a community.
2. They had a good time while they were in the program.
3. They have become readers and part of the creative/intellectual world.

In other words, after graduating from the MFA program, you are usually a far more interesting person than you were before you started. And that alone might be worth it.

I think a good thing for a writer is to figure out how you are going to make a living and that should be something you can do and still have some time/energy left to write. That’s not easy because writing takes a lot of brain space.

I find it very hard to write if I’m exhausted. Some people can write half cocked sucking down coffee at four in the morning. But not me. I pretty much need to be rested to make the whole thing work. I’d like to be able to write half asleep, but it’s never been good. Even drunk isn’t so good for me. Sober and rested. It’s just not very Hemingway.

Published in: on December 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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