Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poem: Writer's Creed

This strange poem has always been my favorite.

I say I don't write poetry, and I really don't, but every now and then a poem insists on expressing itself, however good or bad. This poem came about after years of studying fiction writing, attending writer workshops, and participating in critique groups. There are two kinds of critique groups--the savage kind that rips you to shreds and leaves you bloody on the floor and the motherly kind that praises every mediocre effort as wonderful and insightful. (You should be published!)

I thrive best on rejection. I learn from anyone who will teach me. Mean-spirited doesn't bother me. I'm far more worried about those who would coddle me. To be a writer, you must check your ego at the door and use all your instincts to find your way.

by Linda Katmarian

Writer, when first I tapped you on the shoulder,
did you think I promised success and fame? Glory be to you forever?

Better to draw up a business plan, study for another career.

And you did. You studied editing and theory, dedicated much paper
to these easy gods and their prophets,
planned for your coronation.

Tell a story and tell the truth, I whispered in your ear. I will
have no other gods before me.

You became a fearful priest who coveted your scrolls.

I am not the god that accepts tithes or grants
dispensations. Only flesh and blood will do. I make no promises.

Writer, if you carry your cross the distance and you are
still conscious when they nail you to it,
maybe they will crown you King of Words.

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