About My Writing Journey

I’m a writer. That’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. And I’ve been doing it for a living since I was 20 years old. That’s a long time ago.

All that time, I’ve been writing for The Man, the boss, putting others’ words on paper or my words in others’ mouths. For almost 30 years, I wrote the equivalent of grey government cheese for decent remuneration and zero benefit for my heart and soul.

Ten years ago, an out-of-the-blue heart condition tried to inform me that each day is a blessing not to be wasted because you may not get a tomorrow. Part of that waste was denying the Writer within me the room to breathe fresh air instead of the climate-controlled breeze wafting over my office cubicle. Near-death experiences can do that to you.

I started to write for me. Mostly angry, sassy essays that I shared with friends around the USA. Then I knocked off a bit of memoir at my kitchen table one afternoon about the Christmases of my childhood. I submitted it to a publisher who was putting together a Christmas anthology and it was accepted for publication. Paid a couple of hundred bucks, too.

So I continued to write, not for the bucks, but for the discoveries I was making in myself and the world I’d ignored for the previous decades. And then everything stopped.

I can’t call it writer’s block. It was more that I ran out of gas and sass. I had lost that feeling of creating something tangible from sense and memory, illuminated by the cracked prism through which I view the world. It hurts when that happens.

A dear friend noted that my prose always sounded quite poetic to her. “Why don’t you write a poem?” she said.

Uh, no. Grumpy old fallen journalists do not write poetry.

In desperation, I did as she asked. I started out with the 5-7-5 structured hug of haiku. She said it was good.

“You’ve got a thing for this, Joe,” she said.

I then wrote a poem about not being able to write anymore, stringing together those syllabic steps. She suggested I share it with some other folks. They suggested I share it with some literary journals, which I did.

It was accepted for publication. As was the next poem. The poetry and the feelings of acceptance I received recharged my fiction machine and I was back in business as a writer. But this time I was really writing for me. No, I guess I was just really writing.

Which brings us around to this blog. My writer friend Jane Tolman suggested I do the Twitter thing to see what other writers do–besides write, I mean. Within my first week, I met a handful of writers who graciously accepted me into their following fold and returned that favor to me.

And here we all are.

So I write now almost every day. Some days it’s poetry and others it’s stories.

Now, enough backstory. Yep, I have a thing for words.  They are my tools and my raw materials. Sometimes I use them to build beautiful houses.  Other times I use them like a Cub Scout does, hammering pieces of pine into a birdhouse with bent nails.

But I keep building . Each day a new present and future on my journey through a second-chance literary life.

16 thoughts on “About My Writing Journey

  1. Joe–I always read your poem entries on dVerse and enjoy your take on life. Here on your page (right hand column) you humbly admit to being a writer and editor that a Mr. Brewer said was one of the best “…..Tweeps to follow.”
    I’m just guessing,from the above bio about you that you meant tweets.
    Just thought you’d wanna know.

    Write on!

    • Thank you very much, Jody. The word Tweep is a Twitter lingo smash-together of the words Twitter and People (or Peeps). So I guess Robert thinks I’m a good Twitter person for writers to follow. I still think it was a misprint, but he’s posted the list a couple of times.

      Thank you so very much for being a regular. I’m honored by your visits. 🙂

  2. you have beautiful poems.

    I just wanted to let you know of a new literary site we will be launching at the beginning of next moth.

    I thought this would be of interest to you since yo are are an artist and you are keen to get your work out there.

    The mission of this new venture is to nurture and promote creativity by featuring new, emerging as well as established authors whose aim is to reach a world-wide audience.

    If you are interested in submitting anything to us or have any questions, you can contact us via this email address (bginareview@yahoo.com).

    Please visit us at http://bginareview.wordpress.com/ to learn more about us.

  3. When I read your biography it reminds me of my own – at least little. I spent my life writing for others (journalist, communication expert etc) and today I still do, for my bosses and others and I relate very much to the fact that it somehow leaves a shallow taste. But: I started writing poems a long time ago, that leave a sense of plentiness. And to this day I do (funny enough I write it in English, poetic phrases seem to pop into my head in this language only, although is only my fourth language). I feel inspired by your poems, and the way you feel about your writing, so thanks!

  4. I continue to enjoy your work and have named you to receive the “Very Inspiring Blog” award. Check my site for details in about an hour. – Paul F. Lenzi at Poesy plus Polemics.

  5. I have nominated you for an award. Mainly, this is to acknowledge that I appreciate what you are doing here and to invite you (and your humble readers) to see what I’m doing over in this neighborhood –


    If you wish to accept the award, great, click the link above for directions. If not, just keep doing what you are doing. Go on about your business as if I was never here.

  6. Congratulations! You’ve been nominated as a VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER by Jadi at jadicampbell.wordpress.com. Go to her most recent post to see your nomination and learn about the award. THANK YOU for sharing your experiences and ideas with the blogosphere!

  7. A snappy but soulful introduction, which I find both inspiring and ‘real’ as in, humble and grounded. Sounds like you’ve got some great folk around you encouraging and advising – good on you, for listening to them, and also to your heart. I’m looking forward to reading more here… oh, and I love the ‘hug of a haiku’ line… Harula x

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