What Does It Mean To Be a Writer: A Conversation

Author Ken La Salle
Author Ken La Salle

Guest post
by Ken La Salle

I was having breakfast with a friend the other day and, as it often does, our conversation moved towards my writing career and what recent developments I had to report. As usual, I was full of news about this or that – new articles I was writing, new opportunities I was exploring, and the like.

My friend’s name is Sean. He and I have known each other for quite some time. I could sense a bit of irritation in him, even as I spoke, so I asked him what was on his mind. To my surprise, he didn’t quite know how to put it. “You always talk about all that other stuff. What happened to just writing?” he asked.

I explained to him something I’ve only recently come to terms with myself. “All that other stuff” is what being a writer is all about. Pick any publisher at random and they’ll tell you what they want: A writer with a platform, with a following, with an audience. Being a writer in the 21st century means putting just as much work into cultivating those things as I put into the actual writing. Continue reading “What Does It Mean To Be a Writer: A Conversation”

Reinventing the wheel

Image courtesy blindingstars.com

Writing in 2012 is nothing like it was in 2000. And it was different during other periods, too. Take 1910 to the post WWII days: it was nothing like it was in the 1960s. Writing provides dips and bumps in the landscape, forcing writers into different turns and bends.

What do I mean exactly? Well – writers have always written, and they have always either kept to, or broken, the conventions of the day. Conventions have not always been the same ones we observe now, because language evolves and morphs through use. Custom and usage twists custom and usage out of the present shape into the next unpredictable one. You notice this if you carefully observe the speech and patterns of newsreaders. And goodness me – you certainly notice it in novels. Continue reading “Reinventing the wheel”

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