“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
Years ago when I shared a few of my poems and stories with a friend, her son scanned over it all and said, “I could have written that.”
What he meant is that my writing was simplistic and he thought he could do it. I challenged him to try to match the level I was then writing at. He never did. Happen he never will.
Just another naysayer who is all too ready to criticize before putting their money where their mouth is in terms of publishing, winning awards, etc. Oh, I know my publications and awards are very humble. But they are mine and I earned them.
I also know there are many who are all to ready to fault find and deem writing “just another nice little hobby” or “not a real job.” Sometimes it is more real than any paid position we might hold. Just because it does not or may not pay does not mean it is easy nor does it mean that what appears to be easy reading was easy to compose.
It merely means that someone, somewhere was able to engage you so fully that you were some place different, felt something different, something that changed you from the moment before you read it to where you are now. If you can do that, it matters not the education or experience, in my world that alone makes you a writer. Easy reading perhaps but the next time you are reading something that seems to flow effortlessly, something that sweeps you away to another time or place, remember that someone, somewhere may have already “sweated out” your fare there, worked out a way to take you from your chair to the zone of their world and that often is as simple as extracting blood from the mind. It is called the work of writing.
As one writer friend said recently when I said that her writing just flows so seamlessly, I don’t know where it ends and I begin: “Looks are deceiving, J.” Oh, yes. They are.
(c) 01Jan2011 JAM