SKILLS: HONING, PRACTICING OR SQUANDERING?
A dear friend told me, back in the 80s, that I sent some of my best prose off around the globe in correspondence. Stories about events in my life, descriptions of the ‘characters’ with whom I cross paths or linger a while, political and metaphysical essays were all included in my letters. Another treasured friend proved it when she returned to me (she was ‘minimalizing’ and needed file space) nearly 15 years of correspondence. While I’ve always suspected she had other reasons for doing that (a story for another time), it showed me, because enough time had passed since the writing of most of them that I was able to look at them with a somewhat objective eye—not overly impressed with myself and not hypercritical of my work as I generally was/am.
So it’s no surprise that in the last 15 years on line I find myself doing the same---some my best prose gets posted as responses to the posts of others. In the last few years I’ve started saving some of them to my word files. Sometimes I save even short ones that I like, in my ‘common book’ file, with the thought that some other time/place I might use the snippet as part of a larger a piece on a topic that’s common for me.
I write because I must: NOT writing is not an option. But I have little interest in writing fiction—in some 55 years of writing prose and poetry I’ve only ever written two fiction pieces, one a short, short.
I’m at that age---there’s more sand in the bottom of the hourglass than the top and part of me thinks it’s time I really worked at making some income with my writing, even though I’ll write as long as I can regardless---it’s the communicating I think that matters to me, and there is more immediate, direct feedback online, so it tends to satisfy that need. But who couldn’t use more income?
Pressed to answer the question in the title above I’d reply ‘Damned if I know?’.
What say you?