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Know Jack #411 Old Dog, New Tricks

Necessity is the mother of invention.


The origin of the old proverb is sketchy. The truth behind it is as old as mankind. I somewhat jokingly tell people that writer/publisher is my fourth invention of myself. Though I have a scar on my spine that hints otherwise, the necessity behind the invention is more spiritual and emotional than physical. I was writing before surgery ended my nursing career. Surgery just made the transition easier.


Of course, “easy” is a relative term, as are most things I associate with writing. I haven’t found anything truly easy about writing yet. Coming up with ideas might qualify. I have lots of ideas—ideas worth writing about and rounding out the story that sees a page, that’s harder. More often than not I jump into a story without really knowing where I’m going. It’s sort of like saying, “Let’s go to Texas.” Exactly where in the state of Texas I’m never quite sure until I arrive.


If I arrive, then there’s editing to make sure I took the best route. That’s followed by a lifetime of trying to entice others to pay to take the trip. Doing this requires something called “putting yourself out there”. That’s a task ill-suited to my personality but powered by necessity.


“Out there” is where criticism lives. It’s been said that the best way to avoid criticism is to “say nothing, do nothing, be nothing”. That may be true, but it doesn’t sell books or garner readers. To do that, I have had to talk to strangers—some of them who are broadcasting the conversation, walk into strange places and ask to sign books there, search the internet on computers who hate me, heckle everyone about my latest project, be ignored at signings, and evaluate reviews of my books.


I’m not an “out there” kind of guy. So, I kidnapped a part of me, stuck a sword in his back, and made him walk the plank. It was sink or swim and that’s how the dog paddle was invented.

I still don’t know anything about writing and even less about publishing, but I do know one thing—I’m going to keep doing it.

Maranatha



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