Gabbie recently came across a book by Carmel Bird entitled
The book was originally published as Dear Writer in 1988 and Carmel – an accomplished writer herself – wrote the book as a kind of quirky ‘how to’ writing book.
“Dear Writer Revisited is a collection of letters from an experienced writer to a woman who has sent her own stories to be assessed.” (p.xvi)
The premise is intriguing – don’t you think?
So the challenge for The Print Posse this month is to write a letter to themselves… what would today’s writer tell the tentative youngster who was just starting out?
As usual, Yanicke leads us into the month…. (cos she is a legend hehehe :p )
Run for the hills! Don’t do it! Forget your dreams of being a writer and just be. Be a normal person, live a normal existence. Don’t condemn yourself to a life of maddening passion.
Once you go down that path there is no turning back.
Never again will you be able to enjoy a day doing nothing, an hour relaxing, a minute kicking back. The word holiday will no longer be in your vocabulary. Your mind will be constantly plotting and planning, dreaming and scheming. Every free moment will be snatched, secreted away, devoted to your craft.
Never again will you be able to read a book for the simple pleasure of reading. You will dissect every line, analyse every paragraph, and always with an eye to technique and strategy.
Never again will you hear a song and think of how much it speaks to you. Instead, every word will belong to your characters, every note will chronicle their pain and longing.
Never again will you have enough time – time to think up stories, time to share them with the world.
No, if you walk the path of being a writer you will never know peace again.
All your sadness will be gone and your heart will be full to bursting. Not only with the usual blessings that come with growing up, like love and family and career – although you will have them too – but with plots and ideas and fantasies, entire worlds’ worth.
You will know excitement and yearning – excitement for all the stories you dream of writing, and yearning for enough time to write them.
You will be surrounded by others who share your passion and exuberance – other writers, poets, artists who are just as crazed and tormented as you are – and they will shine a little light on your world.
And you will show your children it’s possible to be whatever and whomever you want to be, that chasing your dreams is a legitimate career-choice, and making those dreams a reality, totally do-able.
Run for the hills! Don’t do it! Forget your dreams of being a writer and just be. Be a normal person, live a normal life. Don’t condemn yourself to a life of maddening passion.