Sunday, April 25, 2010


Back in 1997 in an article on Renoir in the New York Times, Roberta Smith quoted the French pedagogue and painter Andre Lohte as having said "Great painters paint in order to learn to paint."
I wouldn't classify myself as a great writer, but a serious one. I would paraphrase Lohte by saying that serious writers learn to write by writing. And, I have never stopped learning.
Every so often, I ask myself why I write? I set out as a teenager to be a writer, starting with poetry, moving to short stories and finally in my early 20s to the novel. I am now 75 and my passion for writing has not diminished.
Early in my career, I became a journalist to support my writing habit and family and did a lot of free-lancing—mostly true detective stories—to supplement my income.
Try as I might I couldn’t get my novels published. Twice I wrote nonfiction books both to make some money and with the hope that a publisher would be so entranced that one of my unpublished novels would be transformed into a bookstore commodity. That didn’t happen.
Obviously my failure to sell a novel to a traditional publisher proves I don’t write just for money. Three of my novels are available through Kindle, Amazon, and Smashwords.
So why do I write. Any art, any pursuit of creativity is a god-like role. I found support for that hypothesis in Alexandra Sokoloff’s Screenwriting Tricks for Authors blog of Jan. 18, 2010, a perceptive critique of the Wizard of Oz, which ends with: “You are the writer. Ultimately, it’s you and the page. You are God, baby. Make your own rules.”

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.

No comments: