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Happy Writing on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2009

The last few days, if you read my posts in a sour mood, might have been a little bit of a downer.  I certainly have no intention of being depressing, but I did find it useful, to me, to put the task ahead of me in a little bit of perspective.  Ultimately, whether I succeed or fail to get published is but a pale reflection of what my capabilities and potential as a writer really are.  I stand by my assertion that I am a good writer, but though I aspire not to goodness but to greatness, I am realistic that few ever achieve true greatness.  It is why I chose to pursue a career in the field I am in, instead of writing, in spite of the difference in passion I have for the two fields.  In business, mere goodness, not greatness, is sufficient to make a decent living and faithfully support a family.  And, for that matter, it has been relatively easy to prove greatness, within the context of the business world, in quantitative ways, in the language of business.  For writing, I’m not sure it is necessarily so, and most writers who seem make a decent living at it are pretty great, and those who become fabulously wealthy from their pursuits are greater still.

At the end of the day, however, writing brings me joy in a way few other pursuits can.  That, more than the allure of fabulous writerly success, is why I write.

I keep that in mind as I work on the short story I’m trying to get ready to submit to a publishing magazine.  Whether I sell the story or not, my true satisfaction will be to get the story in such shape that I can honestly say I can write it no better than what I have written.

Well, tonight is Christmas Eve, so I’ll keep it short.  I, personally, am of the Christian persuasion, so today and tomorrow are days I intend to spend more fully with my family.  To those of you of like persuasion, I wish a Merry Christmas Eve.  To those who are not, I wish to you what I wish to all who visit my little corner of the blogosphere: Happy Writing.

P.S. To my wife: if you’re reading this: No, I’m not going to reveal here what I got you for Christmas!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. marjorie permalink
    December 27, 2009 10:18 pm

    I’ve seen so many writers who got published but aren’t even good at all. In the same vein that I’ve read some of the best written pieces of work from the finest authors on the blogosphere who are still waiting to be noticed. I salute you for being wise enough to be in another field as your main source of income and have writing as your passion. I majored in business as well and though i’m not a writer, I’ve got deep appreciation for this art and am busy admiring other people’s writings.
    I also belong to the school of thought that writing is a personal matter, which means that one can’t base his style on any stringent rules to be considered worthy of reading.
    What I really want to say is, I’m a fan. Your blogs have never failed to delight me. So I do think you’re not just a good writer but (as I’ve said before) a superlative one. Thanks

  2. December 27, 2009 11:01 pm

    I think you’re largely right that writing is something of a personal matter. For someone like me, who uses writing largely as a means of self-discovery and self-fulfillment (leaving aside for the moment the matter of publishing) writing is an intensely personal means both of self-expression and of self-exploration. In that way, I think it’s more than just a hobby.
    As a reader, the same holds true. What one reader likes will differ vastly from the next. From a writer’s perspective, it’s simply not possible to write something that will touch and speak to every reader and form a personal connection with them all. In many ways, we have to select a subset of readers who may share certain traits and try to write specifically to them, and hope we pick up a few extras along the way. I think that’s why there’s commonly a sense in the writing community that we can only really write for ourselves (though I think that’s a misguided sentiment).
    So, along the way, I’m glad I’ve been able to pick up a few readers who are enjoying following my work. And I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it so far. To me, as a writer, it’s one thing that really makes the writing worthwhile. Thanks for reading!

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