Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What writing means to me

I've had a serious compulsion to write since I was about fourteen.

The usual thing. An unhappy childhood, the need to connect, wanting to be liked, loved even. The stories I wrote were essentially about me and my unhappiness. Still are, I guess. Later, when I was in my teens, I wanted to be a famous writer, glamorous and successful like my hero Scott Fitzgerald. Who died alone, broke, believing himself a failure.

Now, more than forty years later, I've returned to my writing roots. To connect. Only connect. Whenever someone reads my novel A Half Life of One I feel I've been successful, wildly so. Money and fame don't enter my equation. You don't have to like me or love my book either. If we've shared any kind of feelings while you read my book, however briefly, I've succeeded. We've succeeded. There really is no higher aim in life than to share yourself honestly with another human being.

Up until now this need to write has been a curse. To write something and fail to have it published is an exquisitely cruel form of punishment. In that respect blogging has set me free.

At last I can say, We've connected. And that's all that matters.

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