Today I’m guest posting over at Pen Paper Pad. I’d love it if you’d stop by and check it out. T.A. Woods is an insightful poet with a sense of adventure (who else would move from out east all the way to Hawaii??) and a great sense of humor. After you’ve read my post, be sure to dig around her blog. You’ll find all sorts of goodies there!
Here’s the link to my post on her blog:
I’m so excited to share the writing of my new friend, Tim Gallen. (Is that cool, Tim? Can I call you friend?) He’s a hilarious original thinker who is going to be super famous one day. Start reading him now so you can say ‘I knew him when…’ and be famous yourself by proximity.
The Writer’s Life
by tim gallen
Tim Gallen is a writer, truth-seeker, and legend in his own mind. He loves good stories, good words, and good beer. He shares his random thoughts on life at his blog, the daily gallen. Follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook. He won’t mind.
String nouns and verbs together; sprinkle an adjective or two and include a choice adverb.
Regardless the alphabet in which we work, this is the writer’s life. It is one of letters, words, sentences, and clauses. Turns of phrase that take hours to craft and years to master.
The writer’s life is one of communal disappointment, split infinitives, and metaphors that stretch too far.
The world often misjudges the dedication, the energy, the life that goes into writing our words.
To the non-writer, words are simply that: nouns and verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Simple tools used to craft messages and communicate commands and demands.
Words are easy, but writing them can be bloody.
They are a piece of us, an extension of our lives. A writer’s words are pieces of his soul, bled out for the world to read.
The writer’s life is one of solitary bloodletting.
As any number of writers have been attributed as saying, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
To write means to bleed on the page, and blood can come in a drip or a deluge.
Writers bleed alone, howling in pain or cackling in madness. Sometimes both. When we’ve bled ourselves dry, we share our life’s blood with the world, ignoring the sting of our open wounds.
Some may nod in respect, others may weep with joy.
Still others may pour salt in the still-healing wounds and say our work is nothing more than a hack job, blissfully unaware of the glimmer of truth within their harsh assessment.
The writer’s life is one of a constantly racing mind, full of thoughts and ideas, both dark and light, uplifting and down-bringing.
A writer’s head never ceases to churn, to move, to flow like the ocean in a hurricane. Ideas, words, puns, phrases, and a billion voices fill this mind that is not quite grounded in reality, never quite present in the here and now.
The writer’s role is to charge head-on into this torrent of imagination, power, and thought to uncover the truth of it all, hidden among the brambles.
The writer’s life is one of the senses: to taste, touch, hear, smell, and see. To charge into the tempest of life and stand in the eye of the storm to declare truth. For the world is full of truth we refuse to acknowledge and recognize with our senses.
The world needs writers to remove the veil from our eyes. We may thrash and scream, we may fall to our knees and weep. But we will no longer be able to deny the truths of our world.
A life of nouns and verbs, blood and solitude, tempest and truth.
This is the writer’s life.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you discover something that you didn’t even know you were missing?
Maybe it was when you took a class and it changed the entire direction of your academic goals.
It could be when you met a very special someone.
Or it could be walking into your first local chapter meeting of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Okay, that last one was just me.
It was great enough to participate in the Christian Writers Guild meetings, which encompasses all types of writers and publishing. But the local chapter of ACFW, dubbed MN N.I.C.E., was more specific, smaller and directed at learning skills to write more effective fiction.
I’ve been trying to allow myself to dream big and work to make connections in writing circles. I have much to learn, and I’m not too proud to admit that there are many times when I don’t even know the question to ask. I don’t mind learning from others, in fact I welcome it. It can be intimidating to walk into a room filled with a bunch of people you don’t know. When you come to a group that is united by a common cause or purpose, it really decreases the new-member fear factor.
In my experience, people at these meetings are welcoming and happy to visit, even if they don’t know you personally…yet. And the questions they ask to start a conversation will make you feel like someone is taking seriously your writing endeavors, which in itself can be enough reason to go to a meeting! Sure, you may be one of the youngest people there, and there seem to be little to tie you to the people in that room, but when you realize your goals and aims are rooted in writing, there is a commonality that bridges many gaps in background, life station, personality or interests.
Three other places I’ve been able to connect online:
- Twitter on Tuesday evenings by using the #writestuff hashtag
- Twitter on Friday nights by using the #writeclub hashtag
- Facebook as a part of the Writers Unite group.
I highly recommend engaging with other writers this way. In addition, almost every state has its own group of local writers, people who are out there doing it. It may not be convenient to you, but they are out there. And it is a matter of how much you want it. How much do you want to further your own writing skills and potentially give back to your local writing community? Even if you don’t drive to a meeting once a month, with a little internet access, you can connect with others and save on gas. 🙂
If you have ideas for other ways to ‘find your tribe’ as a writer, I’d love to hear from you. And as a reader of this blog, you are part of my writing tribe, my writing community, and I thank you for being a part of this journey. Seriously. Thank you.
(Here’s the link for American Christian Fiction Writers: http://www.acfw.com/ )