Oscar Wilde once said that, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
Writing as an art can’t be taught, and even though Creative Writing courses and workshops undoubtedly help writers grow, writing is a solitary process, and it’s up to each individual to reach within the confines of his mind for answers.
Writers are unique to the extent that even if someone would try to replicate the same career a fellow writer had, he would most likely fail to achieve the same success. A lot of factors come to play in this, including luck, and blindly following a writer’s advice is not the most suitable of actions. What worked for him might not work for you. Instead, you should absorb the rules others have used before you and change them according to your own style and needs.
There are no maps to guide you in this journey. All you get are some folks who are more than happy to help you find your way from time to time.
In my younger, more vulnerable years, I used to keep a list of all the books I read. I took pride in this, took pride in counting how many books I read in any given year.
I was one of the few who liked to read. It was a secret pleasure of mine, but as soon as I hit the thousand books milestone, it’s lost its charm to me forever.
Maybe I’ve read twice as many books so far, maybe I’m not that good at counting anymore.
In any case, there are billions of words I’ll never get to read. Millions of books, stories, poems, plays, and essays that I’ll never even know about.
I do my best to read two books a week, and if I were to keep this up until I turn 75, I will have read an additional 4, 700 books. Give or take a few, because I’ve stopped being good at math in sixth grade, when I decided that all I wanted out of life was to write stories.
Maybe it sounds like a lot, but it’s not. It really isn’t.
When I tell people I’m a writer they usually ask me how much I earn. I usually smile and say “enough.” I’ve been giving this answer even before I started earning money, when my stories were available for free on Wattpad.
The thing is that being a writer, or any other kind of artist, also means that most probably you’ll never earn a lot of money. Million dollar advances are extremely rare. Besides, I’m quite sure that most artists aren’t in this for money.
But what exactly do you earn if not money? Is there something else to being a writer?
Unfinished at the time of his death, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon is a story of doomed love set against the extravagance of America’s booming film industry. The studio lot looks like ‘thirty acres of fairyland’ the night that a mysterious woman stands and smiles at Monroe Stahr, the last of the great Hollywood princes. Enchanted by one another, they begin a passionate but hopeless love affair, starting with a fast-moving seduction as slick as a scene from one of Stahr’s pictures. The romance unfolds, frame by frame, watched by Cecilia, a thoroughly modern girl who has taken her lessons in sentiment and cynicism from all the movies she has seen. Her buoyant humor and satirical eye perfectly complement Fitzgerald’s panorama of Hollywood at its most lavish and bewitching.
“The apartment below mine had the only balcony of the house. I saw a girl standing on it, completely submerged in the pool of autumn twilight. She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” – J.D. Salinger
I have always considered these words to be some of the most beautiful I have ever read. The most breathtaking description. Simple, yet so effective in the way it makes you imagine someone with almost godlike characteristics into existence.
“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” — Ernest Hemingway
The Writer has always been curios.
This is the one question that has always defined him as a person. The Writer has always wanted to know why things were the way that they were, why someone worked (or it didn’t) and why certain things happened and not their opposite.
The same principle seemed to apply to people. It was more important to know why they did what they did, rather than try to understand how or when or with whom.
Whether sexual in nature, or books that deal on subjects such as family, history, or the relationship between men and women, these are must read books for any man, true treasures of information when it comes to a man’s place in today’s society. Continue reading “12 Books Every Man Should Read”→