Writing Into the New Year

Writing About Apples

Writing About Apples

Writing is about finding an audience. The prospects for any writer to develop a multitude of readers is slight and we take what we can get.

Suffice it that in time of social media some will follow, but whether and what they will read is an open question for which there are no native answers.

We put things out there, promote them as we can, and hope for the best.

There is a craft of writing, and the more I write in the 400-1,000 word form, the easier it comes. Countless blog posts, letters to the editor, speeches and emails have been a continuous written work in progress since my first published pieces in the 1970s. When I read my early work, it’s clear I’m getting better.

That said, I’ll be writing into 2015 with some of the same topics—gardening, local food, peace and justice, politics, and living in society—as I have.

There is a reality to deal with: sustaining a process to support writing. Steven King’s idea that writing is a form of self-hypnosis is a good starting place for this. As a writer, it is possible to set aside existential demands to focus on words for a few hours each day. The goal is to have about four hours of writing per day, hopefully according to a regular routine. When we come out of the trance, reality is there again, waiting like slobbery dogs of war to fill our attention.

Dealing with existential demands is incorporated into my writing, and the posts written with the tag “worklife” are examples of this. See the tag cloud in the right column.

At the same time, wonder, imagination and anticipation seem better topics for writing. Hope that whatever dirt from which we spring will be seeded, grow, flower and reproduce with the sweetest scent of pollination. We need a form of hypnosis to forget quotidian lives and experiences that seek to fill our attention the way water seeks its own level. Writing cannot only be escape, but must be engagement in the human condition without drowning.

This morning in late January is what we have lived for so long. Here’s hoping to build an audience and create something that matters in the page pixels in front of us. And continue to believe that’s possible.

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