Life On A B-I7

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Journal Entry (Wednesday January 11, 2023)


Another Long Tirade (on being a writer) Again

I can’t even begin to imagine what it would take to be an author, to write something that is remotely good enough to be recognized as literature. I have said in the past I would love to be a writer. But (1) you should not confuse “writer” with “author.” I am a writer (of sorts) not an author. The difference of course is like the difference between night and day. What I do, what I call writing, takes no real skill, all it takes is the willingness to embarrass yourself. To be an author takes real work, not to mention skill, probably beyond my current abilities for sure, and likely beyond my capacity. Perhaps if I had realized at a young age how much I enjoy doing this — stringing words together — I might have been able to make the commitment to become a writer with a story worth sharing (of course there is no guarantee of that). The reality is that given my current age, that goal is more than likely out of my reach. I don’t have twenty or thirty years to reach that lofty height. (It has taken 50 years just to learn how to get my weight forward on my skis, and I’m only successful in doing that a small percentage of my time.) Becoming an author would be something that would likely take even longer…

(1) Can you start a sentence with the word “but?” Part of becoming a (good) writer is learning a bit about grammar. I’m definitely behind on that score. After all, I’ve spent my life as a computer programmer. Programming languages are not known for complex grammar, the English language is a marvelous exception. Apparently it is okay to start a sentence with the word “but.” If Herman Melville can do it, then I suppose I can. To justify that, I give you the following quote:

“Despairing of him, therefore, I determined to go to bed and to sleep; and no doubt, before a great while, he would follow me. But previous to turning in, I took my heavy bear-skin jacket…”

The bottom line here is, yes, you can do it as long as the sentence can stand on its own two legs without the use of the “but,” and as long as you don’t over use it. However, it should probably be avoided in Grand Jury reports, Supreme Court Opinions and other documents more formal than blog posts… unless you are Herman Melville…