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Write On

Why do I write? Why does anyone? I guess the answer to that is different for everyone who does write, whether it is for a daily newspaper, Hollywood screenplays, best-selling novels or like me, amateur bloggers. In my case, I caught the bug early. I was one of those weird kids who actually liked writing reports and term papers. I never had a problem coming up with 2,000 words on any subject, even subjects that I found boring.

I would bring that love to the student newspapers first of my high school, and later to the Los Angeles Loyolan, student voice of Loyola Marymount University (go Lions) where I went to school. I had ostensibly gone to get a degree in Communication Arts with an eye to write screenplays, but I was captivated by journalism instead and would go on to write for a number of publications, ranging from monthly fanzines that no longer exist to, most notably, the San Jose Metro, a newsweekly covering Silicon Valley. I was the music editor for them, a title largely misleading since I really didn’t do a lot of editing but I did write a weekly column covering the local rock and roll scene, as well as occasional features and movie reviews that the regular reviewer, Richard von Busack (for my money the best movie critic out there these days) didn’t have time to get to. It was a wonderful gig and in many ways it was my dream job, but from every dream one must wake up to face reality; as time went on I realized that it was never going to pay enough for my purposes and so it was with great regret I left the Metro in 1996 and moved on to non-writing ventures.

Still, I couldn’t completely escape it. I continued to write online movie reviews for http://www.triviana.com (where many of them are still posted to this day – if you’re interested, check them out) and later for my own site, Bean Studios (now sadly defunct) for the Friday Night Movie Bunch, a loose club of locals who would go out to the movies on Friday nights – also now sadly defunct.

In August, Da Queen (who noticed I had been writing reviews and saving them to the hard drive of my laptop where nobody but myself could read them) pointed my attention to WordPress, a website that hosts a variety of blogs ranging from individuals ranting about niche subjects to professionally done sites for such entities as TV Guide and CNN. I created two blogs, the first Cinema365 which prints a movie review each day, and Thank Blog It’s Friday, where I publish my essays, short fiction and poetry (although admittedly it has only been essays so far – I’m still unlimbering the other material from old notebooks). While most of my readers peruse these essays on Facebook and MySpace, some of you may be reading this on TBIF, although judging from the number of hits, not many. That’s okay though; my work on these blogs is beginning to bear fruit.

In 2010 I’ll be writing for a new magazine in Australia called Good Gabble which begins publication next month. The mission for this magazine is to accentuate the positive things in life and write about things that are good and true and heartwarming. The publisher is a good friend of mine and when she decided to create this new magazine, she thought my essays would fit nicely into their overall style, so I’ll be their American correspondent, as it were. If you’re interested in reading it, you can check out their own blogsite at http://goodgabble.blogspot.com.

I’ve also been approached by a couple of people with offers to co-author books with them, and while I’m not quite ready to supply details about these upcoming projects, it certainly looks like 2010 is going to be a busy year for me and certainly one in which my writing muscle will get more exercise than ever before.

Writing is not just a hobby to me, you see. It is how I best express myself and I like to think I have some small talent at it. I have often told those who ask me about writing that I don’t write because I want to; I write because I have to. I have spent hours upon hours working on a variety of novels, some of which are farther along than others and on short stories and poetry that are in various stages of competency. During the next year, I’ll be sharing some of these with my readers at TBIF, although I’ll post links on my Facebook and MySpace accounts as well.

I have recently met several women who are writers; some are aspiring writers who are unpublished, others professionals with several published works to their credit. Having worked at the Metro as well as other newspapers (including the San Jose Mercury News, albeit in the Circulation department there) I have met many other writers, some of whom I consider role models. All of us approach the craft differently with different goals in mind. One thing that is fairly universal; we all are willing at the drop of a hat to help one another out by offering different perspectives, sharing information and in general assisting those who need it or ask for it.

In a previous post, I wrote about resolutions and my own about lending my listening skills to those who need it. I’m also offering my skills as a writer and editor to help those writers who are looking for someone to look over their work and offer constructive advice to improve it, or for advice on getting started. Obviously, I’m no J.K. Rowling or Stephen King; I’m not going to be much help in assisting you in getting an agent or a publisher – that is up to you – but if you would like an objective eye and you’re serious about writing essays, poetry, fiction or whatever, don’t be shy. I’m always happy to help.

Writing is a muse like any other, as much a compulsion as it is a craft. It is a means of self-expression and a method of observation, but it is also a form of communication, of building bridges and personal relationships with people I’ve never met. Some will hopefully find a chord struck by what I write and use it as a springboard for something good in their lives. Some will use it as a means to establish a relationship with me, even if it is one I’m not aware of. Still others will use it as inspiration to do some writing of their own. All of these are good things and are what I had in mind when I started writing these a couple of years ago.

You don’t have to be an English major or even particularly talented to write. You just have to sit down at the keyboard and start typing. Say what’s in your heart and on your mind. Discuss things that hold meaning to you, or things that you have some knowledge of. Proclaim your political allegiance, your devotion to God or country or to your special someone. Display your hopes and dreams; speak out about your fears as a means to exorcise them. Above all, write honestly and don’t try to sound like someone you’re not. Say what you’re writing out loud; if it’s something you would say to someone else, you’re on the right track. Writing is a powerful tool and even if you think you’re not capable of doing it, if you can write an e-mail or an instant message you have the ability to write anything. If you need help in expressing yourself, seek it out. You’ll find that when you have someone to bounce ideas off of, suddenly it won’t seem so hard.

Whatever may come, I will continue to write for you, my readers. I have been very gratified to have several people express their enjoyment of some of the things I’ve written and believe me, it means a great deal to me to know that I have been successful in communicating to you. I don’t have a lot of regular readers at the moment, but the number is growing and hopefully will continue to in 2010. If you have been touched by anything I’ve written here, do let me know; I can always use the encouragement too. Just don’t be shy – everything you write is valid, whether you’re using proper grammar or a superior vocabulary or not. Even if you can’t spell, write. It’s a good catharsis for your soul, and I look forward to sharing it with you, if you’re of a mind. It would be my honor.


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