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Why become a writer?

You might do it for the money, hell a lot of people will when they hear they MIGHT be able to make more in an hour than some people make in a day.  Anyone would jump on that, right?  As someone who’s been writing freelance for almost three years I can tell you now, if you want to make top dollar just walking in, walk away.

Just like any other job, if you work at it, if you pay your dues, and you put in the time, it is entirely possible to make a good living writing. But if you want to get paid just by walking in, then don’t bother. The rare individual will find the dream job when they walk into it, but the majority will need to find a way to make it work. If you’re educated, experienced, and know what the hell you’re doing then you’re likely to find a decent job writing.  But if you want it just because it sounds easy, stay away.

Those of us who have done this job know that writing doesn’t just come to you most times. You need to have a background that allows you to pull information out of thin air at times. There is a definite benefit to being the type that daydreams, that picks up information like change on the street, and can fire it back at a moment’s notice.

So why in the world would anyone want to become a writer?  Maybe you should ask one of us.  You might be surprised at what you hear.

My reason, my purpose.

Some people go through life searching for their purpose, their reason for being here on this earth. A lucky number find it, while others settle and accept that life had something better in mind for them than what they thought they wanted.  Sometimes though it doesn’t matter what we want or what we decide to settle with, that reason, that purpose, remains.  I had no idea when I was younger that writing would call to me the way it has in the past several years, or that I would have enough ideas to fill so many books and hundreds of articles, blogs, and academic papers.  It came so easy after a while that I finally had to sit back and realize, “This is my purpose for being”.

I am a writer, and I say it proudly.  Where others do, I chronicle the story of those actions. Where others speak, sing out, and give voice to life, I seek to make it last for the generations yet to come.  Writing isn’t an antiquated practice, it’s an art that is very much alive and still just as capable of bridging the gap between one generation and the next.  We are the ones who will tell the story of the past, of what could be, might be, and will be.  Writers are the ones who will ultimately tell of the world when what has come before is truly gone.  Throughout history there have always been chronicles laid down in one form or another, and as writers we continue that proud and noble tradition.

So why am I here?  I’m here to write, plain and simple.

The Ode

Ode to the Writer

By Tom Foster

 

We are the lords and ladies of creation, yet we are still just players.
In the beginning we are as in the end.
We do not aspire, we simply do.
There is the dream, tempered by the reality, and given form by the thought.
By our thought, by our dreams, and by the reality we impose.
It’s a madness of the sort that only poets and writers can truly understand, and even among those only a few can comprehend.
Comprehension, that is a truly frightening thing.
We play with words, we are those that can immortalize, and those that can do what must be said and say what must be done.
It is confusion, this comprehension, and in the midst of it all, it is the single word that carries power, the one among all that is ever elusive, ever there, always waiting for us to return to, to remind us what it is that drives us, what keeps the fountain flowing.
Every last soul that has ever put ink to paper, ever put finger to key, every vague idea that swirls inward from the maelstrom we call the world, the universe, and everything in between and without.
For everything that could come, for everything that has and will come, we are there. We are the ones that do not deny the voice that tells us, “this must come to pass”, or “this must be remembered”.
It is who we are, what we do, and through everything, it is the lifeblood of those who cherish this timeless art form, this undeniable urge to say, in their own manner, “I AM”.
We are not gods, we create, and yet in the process, we are created. It is our words, penned and copied throughout the ages that have helped to shape the world, to say that, “WE ARE”, that “WE EXIST”.
Whether tyrant or savior, good or evil, saint or sinner, the words that are put to time’s test are those that will come to define the world we know. Memory is not enough, though it serves.
As do we.
We are the lords of creation, the ones whose words will last and echo into the ages, for all to see, and all to remember.
Is it truth?
The better question is: Does it matter?
We are the lords and ladies of creation, and by our words, the world we know is shaped, molded, and given to the next generation, and so on and so forth until the whole mess ends, only to be rebuilt, and to crumble again.
We are the lords and ladies of Creation, and this is our legacy.

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