Saturday, February 1, 2014


At Houghton college I eavesdropped through a partition once on a workshop for English students whom I presume aspired to be writers. The man leading the session was a published author, but I don't remember anything else about him except that he wore a brown corduroy suit jacket and jeans. I had no interest in the topic at the time. I was just present in the same vicinity doing homework and I couldn't help overhearing snippets of what they were saying. As I recall there was a fair amount of navel gazing on the far side of the petition. It is always so with creative types. I recall that one of the students, a girl I think, asked the question, "How do you know if you have what it takes to be a writer?," and without hesitation the author fired back, "Writers write. Writers must write." At the time I remember thinking that was a perfect answer.

I think what the girl was asking was how do you know if you have the chops to write professionally, to be published, but the man's answer brushed that aside as a secondary consideration. Whether it is well-received or not, he was saying,  "Writers write. Writers must write."

I have never built a stone wall, but someday I would like to. Several years ago I even read a book on the topic. It had the unimaginitive title of "Building Stone Walls," but it offered numerous insights into the art and method behind the construction  of stone walls, which I would not have thought of otherwise. I love the looks of an old stone wall. They are beautiful to me in a way that no other border can rival. They have a settled, heavy feel about them, which I enjoy, and I think they scratch an itch inside all of Adam's sons and daughters to exercise dominion over the earth. It's satisfying to see a straight and orderly line made from so many rough, irregular pieces. 

I remember that the book recommended collecting a large pile of rocks before getting started. The reason being that often times you will need to find a rock that has just the right shape, weight and size to fit a niche as you build, and it helps to have a large collection to select from.

I sometimes think of my posts like that- a collection of rough, irregular thoughts varying in shape, weight and size- and the BFZ is my rock pile, but what will I eventually build with them?

I'm not sure, exactly, but I think the time has come to start incorporating them into something straight and orderly. Do I have the chops to be published? I don't know, but writers write. Writers must write.


Steve said...

Sounds like Leax.

Josh Tate said...

You take that back right this instant, Steve Maxon!

steve said...

The professor. Sounds like Leax. Based on the outfit and the pithy homespun wisdom.