Way back in the mists of time, occupations, most but not all, were governed by guilds. And to join a guild you had to have someone recommend or buy your way in via sponsorship. You started out doing all the labor intensive low skill jobs. Taking out the trash, cleaning, you get the idea, then once they had you started they would begin training you under a master.
Ever wonder why writers haven’t developed a writing guild? Seems to me to be a perfectly good way to learn the writerly arts. And it would weed out the ones that lack the bull headed stubbornness needed to make a profession of writing. Reading, editing manuscripts, and being around bad, good, and mediocre material, would teach us by example; the things that work, the things that really don’t work, and the things that kinda work. I forget where I read it but someone said to learn to write, read the bad stuff, not the good stuff. The good stuff will depress you, because you will not feel up to the task of writing that way. The bad stuff that will inspire you because if they could get published then surely you can write better than that.
Funny enough, when I was younger and devoured romance novels like they were going out of print, I just knew I could write better than some of the horrific stories I crossed paths with. In fact I started writing at about ten or elven romance, cowboys and pirates were my favorites. A lady named Virginia Brown wrote “Capture the Wind” that novel for many, many, years was my favorite. Only a few years ago did I read with adult eyes and heavens I read this in fifth grade? No small wonder my mother was mad with my grandmother for letting me read her stash. I am embarrassed to say I couldn’t finish the book. In my memories it was about a headstrong lady running off to the Americas and her ship was captured by the fierce Captain Kit Saber. Then the real fun began as she talks him into tracking her beau down only to find him in relations with a lady of the night.
Anyway I have carried the story I remembered and held it close to my heart. A few others are also hanging out there too. Somewhere along the way I have lost that head strong little Miss Know It All, and the confidence she had that the world was her oyster. On days the words come, I see a tiny spark of her but I can never coax her back into the light of day. It maybe that I have lost my innocence and the world has stolen her from me forever. Or it just maybe time to regain that innocence outlook and realize the world isn’t going to change but maybe, just maybe I can. Cheers on a Thursday night. james