Fountain of Literature

An honest writer may reach for his or her pen with the same glimmer of hope as a child reaching for confections. One word may spill into another until a harmless novel is inspired, a movement, a poem which captivates the imagination. Indeed, to harness the power of words is merely a human endeavor, to make a bold statement is divine.

Over the past several years I have worked hard to stamp out an existence as a freelance writer – to prove I can harvest my words as well as the next professional scribe. I have never applied for writing positions or pretend to know the golden rules for grammar. It doesn’t really matter to me, because the views I express are free and from the heart.

While an editor may play fancy with words and inflection, the true intent of writing is to communicate a basic theme with readers, to illustrate a point in far simpler terms that many cannot express.

Regardless of whether you’re writing fiction or hard journalism, your message must be articulate, sharp and sincere. In order for your words to open minds, your literature must have a clear objective and purpose, a climate for which to place those words, and ultimately an audience who understands your content… hopefully.

That being said, this process is not always cut and dry. Editors may not always agree with your final point, and readers may yawn indifferently at the desperate crop of words you’ve planted. While writing can be a therapeutic exercise for some, it can also serve as a heartbreaking love affair filled with a wide spectrum of emotions, to include anxiety.

It doesn’t matter if your poem is based on some puffy cloud you witnessed at sunset or that your article hits the jugular of a deep political vein. If your readers are bored, if they are not moved by your fountain of literature, then you must re-examine your place in the guild. You may want to explore a new approach, because once a writer becomes formulaic or predictable, then you may as well consider a new venue altogether, like technical writing which doesn’t require much creativity.

While failure will always remain a difficult pill to swallow, I would suggest that not everyone is cut out for this special craft. As well, even the most hardened veterans of the industry can take their lumps; extended periods of time without work, working for peanuts, or even working for free. There’s nothing wrong with this. It happens to published authors, experienced journalists and various other professionals on the editorial side. It’s the nature of the beast.

Let’s not even explore the starving reality for critical poets and philosophers; their tanks may always run on empty.

The only suggestion I can recommend is to put aside your expectations and ego. Even for those who have been striking the keys for decades, the more you write, the more you push your words and passion, the more blood you will get from that stone. Never marginalize yourself or compare your talents to others. As soon as you lose your creative compass in the hot pursuit of success, then I would suggest you stop typing immediately and find a nice pasture to take a nap.

Always write for love before money. If you are honest with your passion, if you sprinkle every element of your character and soul into those finite words, the industry will always find a way to take care of you. The key is believing in your gift and nourishing it with faith.

Be honest with your heart and dig deep, because the world still needs writers, and your message will always be important…

Aaron Towle
Aaron Towlehttp://www.repdigest.com/
Aaron Towle is a Multimedia Artist living in Green Cove Springs, FL. He proudly served in the military as a journalist and now works as a developer in the Defense Contracting Industry. He is passionate about art, literature, and photography and looks to continue building his credentials as a professional writer. He currently produces an online publication called Reprehensible Digest, which explores the subtle dynamics between art and literature.
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Len Bernat

Aaron – Sound advice backed up by your passion for your craft. Thanks for sharing.

Larry Tyler

Aaron you give us a strong message to use the Strong Ink. Thank you for a great story.

Darlene Corbett

Thank you for this beautifully written article. Writing is very personal, and the way to become more expressive as you eloquently indicated is to keep going. In my humble opinion, writing is an exercise of mind and creativity. The more you exercise a muscle the more chiseled it becomes. If we are dedicated to our craft, we must remind ourselves of that. Look what eventually happens to the transformation of a lump of coal, a shining and sparkling unique stone like no other. Again, I appreciate this as well as your other articles.💖

Tom Dietzler

I always like the line from the movie “5 to 7,” and I’m paraphrasing “Sometimes the very best writing is that which is written for an audience of one.” For me, that audience is often times me. It’s that thing that won’t let you sleep or think of anything else until you unleash it from your brain. And most of the time, it’s worth sharing. It doesn’t have to be “War and Peace” or the Gettysburg Address, it just has to matter to you, or someone… It doesn’t matter if it resonates or not or if it falls flat or becomes a best seller. Many times, for me, it’s much better to “have written” than to go through the process of writing. Writing can be difficult, even painful at times. Sometimes it achieves the desired catharsis, and sometimes it doesn’t do anything. Sometimes I get clarity, sometimes I just add another layer of confusion. It’s not about the result as much as it about asking and answering the questions that take you from start to finish. Maybe it’s about writing the one thing that asks another set of questions that also need to be answered.

“Be honest with your heart and dig deep, because the world still needs writers, and your message will always be important…” and there is the rub – because what we have to say, each one of us, can only be said by each one of us. No one else can say what you’re thinking, and the world definitely needs to hear that.

Thank you Aaron, I loved all of this, and am glad that you put this together. All the best to you on your journey, and always.

Penny Wobbly
Penny Wobbly

I love your words, ‘free and from the heart.’ A very important five words. Well said.

Laura Staley

Thank you for this encouragement and reminder, Aaron. I have written to earn degrees. I write because I must. Writing became a celebration of the voice I lost a thousand times a thousand. Writing from the heart, from the still point deep in the core of me continues to be a joy, a humble action in love and service to any who can receive the words, the love swirling around the words, the humanity exposed. I have surrendered to the the Divine/the Universe/God, the Great Divine Feminine/Masculine Goddess, a higher power, that seems to allow me to be the unfurled garden hose.

Noemi Zarb

I’m with you and Tom all the way. I’ve never made a penny with my writing. Years back this used to irk me, yet the passion invariably won. Although I am not convinced that ‘the industry will always find a way to take care of you’, I am adamant about the vital need to keep on fine-tuning and go down unchartered territory.

One comment I’d like to add about journalists is that I would love to see them fired by a sense of integrity rather than pander despite their inevitable political affiliation, which I respect even though I may disagree or outright shun.

Thank you, Aaron, for sharing.

Helen Heinmiller

Aaron I agree wholeheartedly. I love the journey writing has taking me on over the years. There have been times when I have felt isolated and rejected coming from my ego but my joy remains consistent when I stay in my heart.

Sherry McGuinn

“Put aside your expectations and ego.” Oh my, yes. Because you will be kicked to the curb again and again. Aaron, this is excellent, and like all your work, heartfelt. A must-read for newbie scribes and veterans, alike. Thank you for writing.

Mark O'Brien

Aaron, when I share my children’s books with young students at their schools and encourage them to write, they frequently ask, “But what if nobody likes it?”

My answer is always the same: “Write anyway. And write for yourself first. The rest will take care of itself.”

As you put it, “Never marginalize yourself or compare your talents to others [or] lose your creative compass in the hot pursuit of success.”

Amen to that, my friend. And thank you for it.

Andy Thomson

You must have passion when you write, without it you have scribble

Joel Elveson

Happy New Year, Aaron! Simply put you wrote what was is true. I write for the love of writing and hopefully touching some people. Writing for a living would be a nice dream to come true that could easily become a nightmare with Editors, Proofreaders and alike all putting their “paw prints” all over something that came from my heart and soul. Have a great 2020!

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