I was reading some writing blog or other yesterday, when I came across a tidbit of wisdom that went something like this: “Hey writers, be careful who you listen to. Any jerk with a WordPress account can start a ‘writing blog.’ It doesn’t necessarily mean they know that they’re talking about”
This is good enough advice. There’s plenty of advice out there you should totally ignore, and plenty of amateurs trying to pass themselves off as experts. Except…well it’s time for of confession.
I’m no professional writer.
Seriously. This guy I know who spent fifteen minutes writing a greeting card that won five-hundred dollars in a contest? He’s made more money at writing than I have.
So reading that post got me to thinking about what I’m doing here. It’s not that I’m trying to pass myself off as some great and revered writer whose wisdom must be adhered to without question. I’ve tried to be upfront about the fact that I’m just a guy who works at Wal-Mart, trying to make something of myself as a writer.
But for me it wasn’t a question of honesty. It was a question of qualification. Does an unpublished writer really have anything worthwhile to say to the world? Or am I just spinning my wheels trying to look important?
I talked it over with my writer friend who also works at Wal-Mart. She asked me, “What is your blog about?”
I told her, “I’m just trying to share my experiences. Maybe give people some encouragement. That’s all.”
She looked at me and said, “That’s all anyone can do.”
I thought about it for a while, and realized she was right. The world’s greatest writer could dispense writing advice until his fingers fall off, but all he can really do is tell what has worked for him.
So, I’m here and I have a blog. If I tell you, “This is how it should be done,” it’s just an opinion. It’s something that has worked for me. If it doesn’t work for you, chuck it.
I’m not here because I know it all. I’m here because I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one who has big dreams that sometimes seem impossible to achieve.
We’re all in this together. We all share the same kinds of hope and heartbreak. And even though writing may be a solitary craft we still need to connect, to know that we are not alone. And if this humble blog can be one of those points of connection and encouragement, it will not have been a wasted effort.