So you want to be an author…

Throes of Creation by Leonid Pasternak

Throes of Creation by Leonid Pasternak

So you want to be an author, huh. So do a lot of us, including me. In that pursuit I am engaged in finding and completing the steps necessary to accomplish that end.

It ain’t easy.

Among the throngs of those who write the definition of who is an author and who is a writer is a hot topic. For purposes of this discussion let’s define an author as anyone who has gotten published and been paid. All the rest of us are just writers.

The term “just writers” is not an attempt to diminish our time-won rapture. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword and those of us who “just” write are blessed/cursed with a terrible affliction over which we have no control.  This affliction stalks us. Wherever we are, it is. Writing is a heady affliction but one we welcome like a hangover after too many glasses of the fine wine of creativity.

We sit down to write and take a sip of mind-settling reflection. Sometimes our minds are so parched, so needy of expression that a single sip will trigger torrents of words like the flowering of a desert after an overdue rain.  More often a single sip is insufficient. We sit motionless, staring at blank paper/screen, hands on the keyboard, waiting.

We push back, drop our hands into our laps and rise to start pacing. We need more reflection, more emoting, heavier thinking, another sip or two or three of that wine.

Then we’re back typing furiously not even realizing that we ever even sat back down to type, the words coming so fast we can’t keep up, snarling over slow typos, but writing, writing, writing, taking big gulps now, the wine so sweet, the words so exact, we go on and on and on, it’s so much fun, we drink some more and write more and more and more, joyously exuberantly exhilarated.

We stop.

Have to stop.

Wow! Where did that all come from?

We snatch the paper from the typewriter or scroll back to the top of the page and read.

Damn that’s good!  OK, OK, there are typos, some clumsy phraseology but nothing that can’t be fixed and, damn, it is good.  We have drained the wine, feeling fine, just fine and proud and, suddenly, sleepy.

Can’t wait for tomorrow. Fuck the hangover.

That’s a writer.

To become an author is another subject for another day.FotoFlexer_Photo Quill

2 Responses to “So you want to be an author…”

  1. Ingar Knudtsen

    This was damn good!

    Ingar Knudtsen (Norwgian author).
    Oh, yes. 28 books published.

    – Ingar

    • tmcgann

      Thank you, Ingar. It is always heartening to receive the praise from another writer, nay, published author!


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