A Distinctive Breed Quest for the Holy Grail of Writing Resources
By Rowdy Rhodes
In nearby woods a page waits to be filled with knowledge by opportunity and skill.
Spending my time educating others about writing through our collection of resources appears to be both a fruitful and fruitless attempt at helping writers reveal themselves around the masks they've created for family, colleagues, church and state to view, thereby providing them the chance to spew words onto the page.
Writers of children's literature appear to have the most fun, auto-biographers the most anguish, and journalists walk a necessary tightrope between emotional overload and stoic news delivery.
Novelists are intellectual abstractualists, sometimes philosophical and most often entangled in either a search, or a portrayal, of self. Dramatists and playwrights are vivid imaginaries. Poets, with their every word, pin themselves upon the proverbial cross, historical writers are actually futurists, editors and publishers skew between Samaritans and ogres.
Yet, what of the individuals who disseminate the how-to erudition of writing such as Bev Walton-Porter, Jenna Glatzer, C. Hope Clark, Nick Renton, Dawn Josephson, Barbara Bell, Tim Bete, Jennifer Meacham, and, if I may, even myself? Many of us, at times, are viewed with disdain as "non-writers" until we have produced on paper what we are determined to provide electronically.
Every year there are literally millions of people using our online resources and collective knowledge: students learning the craft, homemakers striding foreign paths, retirees creating immortality before the grand finale, boomers, believing they are the chosen ones because "they were there," wanting to share their stories. The list goes on.
Then we have those who have already unmasked themselves. They are no longer driven to near insanity, like Roy Neary with his mountain of potatoes, by a blank page. They have the ability to freely disgorge their emotional and often times intellectual web of words, presenting us with provoking and challenging demands of thought.
Yet, many of these writers are still coming of age in a digital reality from the world of print editorial bringing with them ideology no longer relevant (Hyde Park soapbox vs. internet broadcasting as an example).
When opportunity presents itself, the sharing of philosophical beliefs with someone about writing can be an enjoyable experience and quite verbose.
Debates on issues such as structure, grammar, plotting, promotion, even archaic vs. new generation terminology (editorial vs. content as an example), and other infinite details, can become quite heated, akin to religious, political, and sporting debates.
For me, I avoid discussions with those so conditioned by their experiences that they do not question their own creative beliefs. These artistic, narcissistic dogmatists spend their lives repeating themselves in a variety of ways as their creativity wilts upon the vine of their god given talent.
There is no point in trying to convey to them that they are upon the verge of writing extinction while the rest of our community continues to advance.
Then there are those who challenge antiquated writing ideas with modern creative beliefs. Discussions, with time and patience, can develop moments of blending which create new concepts, inspiration, and resources, about, and for, writing that will be useful to future writers driven in search of self or in a desire to educate and entertain.
The journey for me, so far, has been quite eventful, many times educational, many times equally frustrating, insulting and enjoyable, yet there remains the desire to accumulate and pass along something lasting and impressionable to the followers of the power in words.
Recently I read a line in a book entitled The Hope Valley Hubcap King, written by Sean Murphy, that describes (in part) that we humans are "mammals with jobs". At first I laughed, finding the idea quite amusing. Then I contemplated the author's thought and found myself of the opinion that we are mammals with the power of words.
As writers we're a special breed of mammal, more often than not standing alone outside the constructive world of the mason or the destructive world of the suicide bomber, stationary in a community that has passion, driven by god knows what to affect change through ways alien to most. The use of writing.
To what end is this desire of mine to amass writing knowledge? I don't know. I figuratively find myself within a field of words comfortable in the knowledge that I have made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of our subscribers, yet there remains the sense of a blank page waiting for me in the nearby woods.
It is waiting to be filled with something deeper. With quiet contempt of the ignoramus opinions that what we resource providers do is for naught, ego, or out of frustrated writing careers, I continue in my search for a combined moment of opportunity, knowledge and skill, however brief an instant, to pass along a little how-to write enlightenment.
I believe that some day my quest will end in fulfilment.