Sunday, July 10, 2011

So, you want to be a writer?

A poem by  Charles Bukowski provided by Mathew Paust, the author of Executive Pink,
if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.   

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Introduction: Finding My Joy

Amy McVay Abbott lost her job within a few months of her only child leaving for college. After a thirty-year business career and eighteen years of mothering, she was at a loss with no job and her only child a thousand miles away.

Abbott always loved writing, having started at the South Whitley Tribune as a freshman in high school in 1971. With the overabundance of reporters in the Watergate era, Abbott chose another path, that of health care marketing and sales. 

She married, raised a child with her loving husband, and succeeded in the business world.

Then she turned fifty and stuff started to happen, as it does to every woman.  In addition to her only child leaving home, Abbott's mother was diagnosed with multi-infarct dementia. 

And in January 2009 -- the month with the most recorded job losses in this Great Recession -- Abbott and 4,000 of her closest friends got the pink slip from their Fortune 100 employer.  What to do?  Where to turn?

"In an empty house in the midst of the Great Recession, I had no idea what I was going to do.  

On the advice of a friend, I contacted the newspaper where I worked in college.  They were open to printing my bi-weekly column.  I started writing for the Columbia City Post and Mail, a daily I worked on in college. 

My reach has grown and The Raven Lunatic now runs in eight Indiana newspapers. 

I also branched out and wrote for numerous publications in southern Indiana as well, and various curated on-line sites.  I can't explain it; a fire somewhere deep inside was lighted and continues burning brightly.

Readers started talking to me about doing a book.

Writing the The Luxury of Daydreams has been a wonderful journey for me, with  time to sift through memories and gain some perspective. 

What do I write about?  Well, I see myself as a little bit like Erma Bombeck and a little bit like Harry S Truman.  If I can make you laugh a little, and think a little, and soothe your soul a little, then I've done my job.

I hope you find your joy in this book as I did."