Monday July 9, 2001
Guilty of the Zen of Writing!
But, it is the only way I get
a handle on the world...
By I. Wright, Contributor
FRESNO CAMPUS -- I am
not a writer. Well, I guess I am in the sense that I put words into
text, but I am not the kind of writer that most news journalists
I am not out to write the next great American
novel or win the Pulitzer Prize. I have been published but it was
literary stuff written more as a labor of love than to make a name
or a buck for myself (good thing too because it didn't).
I don't swim in the predator laden waters
of publishing. I just write.
Recently I have had this voracious need
to write. When I am not writing, I am composing letters, essays,
and stories in my head. I am currently working on a novel. It's
pretty good by my own exacting and self effacing standards.
However, just like my first one, it will
perhaps be viewed by a couple of my closest loved ones but will
ultimately end up being stored and forgotten on a piece of magnetic
The joy is in the writing itself. I do
write purely for the joy of writing. I simply embrace the
I like playing with language and making
words dance to my tune. I love the feeling of being able to create
a Universe and have it act according to my whim.
I relish the power of being able to invoke
emotion in people through the simple medium of the printed word.
For me, this is enough.
I have a friend who is an author as well
as an agent. My attitude makes her crazy. She tells me that I am
a gifted writer and that, considering some of the crap that makes
it into print, I could make a nice living from writing.
Well, I make a nice living anyway and prefer
to keep my writing as a pleasure instead of a task.
Have you seen the movie "Caddyshack"? If
so, you might recall Chevy Chase's character, Ty. He was a phenomenal
golfer- he could even make putts blindfolded- but he refused to
play for money. This drove the other golfers nuts.
They could not understand how he could
turn his back on a potential mint. I can understand.
For me, writing is sacred. I have fought
battles, comforted friends, and I even met the love of my life,
the wonderful woman I am married to, through simple words in print.
It is the way I get a handle on the world.
Sometimes the things of life- good and
bad- simply overwhelm me and I have to write about them to get them
into perspective. It is my therapy.
I love getting up early on Sunday when
the whole world is asleep and sitting down at the computer with
a cappuccino and just writing. There is no greater pleasure that
does not involve interpersonal friction.
So, like Ty, performing my art for money
would somehow take the magic out of it. I can not imagine my writing
becoming secondary to arguing with agents, placating editors, or
making deals with publishers.
I wish I could just write stuff and hand
it to someone else to hassle with all of the requirements of business.
That would be my perfect world. Alas, I may have to change this
After the kid heads for the ivy covered
halls, my wife and I want to travel. The only portable job I can
think of is writing, so I may have to try my hand at freelancing.
I think I will be sad then. I imagine it
will be like losing an old friend. That is when my pleasure will
turn to labor.
Oh, well, no sense borrowing trouble. Until
then, my Zen shall remain a secret.
I will keep working on my novel and writing
my essays, letters, stories, and even Usenet posts just for the
sheer pleasure of seeing the medium of language crafted into the
sharing of thoughts and ideas.
Art for art's sake works for me.
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