|Ken will be leading the
Having lived as a writer and teacher of writing since long before my
hair began to disappear, I can offer advice about plenty of challenges
a writer faces. Out of all that, the most helpful to aspiring writers
is: be yourself.
Here’s a grim thought: “Moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.” -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., novelist
These days, with the ease of self-publishing and small press
publishing, the competition is evermore daunting. But take heart from the words of another fine and famous writer, Raymond Carver: “A writer doesn’t need to be the smartest kid on the block, only to be able to look with amazement at a leaf or an old shoe.” And, I’ll add, to express that amazement in our own words.
A Perelandra College student first tweaked my admiration during the application process, when she expressed a wish for me to “have a smashing weekend.” Soon thereafter, she confessed to being “all
aflutter.” I will gladly read whatever she writes, simply because I’m intrigued to know about a person from Ohio who uses words like “smashing” and “aflutter.”
A preacher I like is liable to use the “dude” and “as it were” in the same sentence. I often return to a second service featuring the same message and listen again with pleasure.
Yesterday, a friend mentioned someone who is fit to be operated upon. She called him “surgible.” I asked if that was a dictionary word. She said, “Oh, no. I just invented it.” Need I add that she is a wonderful writer?
Now, being ourselves involves more than using original words or using words in original ways. At least as important is expressing our own unique ideas and perceptions. Let’s talk about that in Florida.