Sunday, November 14, 2010


I am a writer. I am often misdiagnosed as a jack of all trades because I make a concerted effort to run away from the gift. It is a burdensome gift. Those who carry it know. Especially when I find myself in my current state where it is now what God has designated for me to use to earn my keep. I am not claiming to know the mind of God. I take all my cues from my current situation. I have wonderful skills however; I cannot seem to be able to buy a job, even if I had the means. It is as if God is saying very clearly; by gum, I have given you this talent and you will use it. This requires that I commit to and focus on a task at hand. These are not two of my favorite things.

I am a writer. Not to be confused with a novelist or poet. A writer is not bound by genre though there are those purists who feel that one must excel at some certain thing to call themselves that. I am a writer; a crafter of story. If that story takes a notion to render itself in iambic pentameter, or iconic prose or forthright essay, is never a foregone conclusion. It is the story that I live for. The literary sculpting if you will. A story is as much visual as it is literal. I see what I am saying. Laying word and phrase atop one another in ever escalating action. So that when I am done it is whatever it needs to be. It glows brightly or hotly. It is lustily wanton or monastically prosaic. It is whatever it needs to be in service of the story. I will tell the erotic story of coitus with equal joy as the religious epic with piety. It is whatever the story dictates.

Being a writer is a taxing task. There are some who have run far from the siren call of pen to paper or finger to key. Though we run, the lure of the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. The power of words cannot be discounted. God spoke and existence came into existence. Salome said bring me to and it was brung. Martin Luther decreed and it came to pass. The constitution is merely words but we fight and die to protect the sanctity of it. It is a living breathing instrument of history and jurisprudence but its most humble beginnings was as a thought that one man had and shared with other men who understood and enjoined him in the vision of a document that would guide men to make decisions with regard to life and living.
The bible, believed by many to be the God ordained, God breathed word of life is still at it core words written by a writer. In the beginning was the Word. Those of us who have been entrusted with words have a solemn duty perhaps even a moral imperative to use them.

Please don’t mistake me for a grammarian or a punctuation specialist. I am not. Again there are the purists who find fault with this supposition. I am not run amok across the page like the proverbial bull in the china shop. I appreciate technical ability but the lack of a participle dangling precariously or a blatant misuse of the present pluperfect does not cause me to lose sleep. Perhaps if I took a moment to consult with EB White or that Strunk fellow, I would find that there are participles dangling all over this page and many of my plu’s are less than perfect. As it stands, there are times when I get confused and think that being a writer means that I can write anything. It only means that I will write anything. I understand that this sounds flagrantly contradictory. It may be the height of contradictoriness.

If the writer is slave to anything, it is the muse. The muse demands our allegiance and interrupts us like an oversexed strumpet to get our attention. I believe this of writer’s block. Writer’s block is what happens when we try to contradict the muse. The muse may say write the name of the first boy you ever dated 37 times. The intellectual within us says that is not noteworthy but the muse has her reasons. What do those 37 times conjure up? Where does your go that your pen is sure to follow. The muse is very crafty. You may think you have nothing to say but the muse will lead you to the story. It may be a circuitous trip but always trust the muse.


GalenaFaolan said...

Wow, you expressed how I feel so much more eloquently than I've ever been able to. I found myself nodding my head and laughing out loud, "that Strunk fellow." Love it! The ending, true words, wise words! Had many trips to that block, I'm sure I will again and the muse does indeed drag you back one way or another.

MANChild Swagga said...

Great post, I totally feel you on this one. As a slave to the pen, I totally feel the paradigms of writers block and can agree that the muse is the elusive elixir that keeps my pen active.

Thanks so much for sharing. I am glad to have found your blog today - and happy to see that you are in Houston as well.