One month ago, while visiting my brother in the Virginia Beach area, I stopped at the Regent University library to plug into the 'net and do some writing. I couldn't think. Of course, it was a beautiful day in VA, much warmer than the weather back in Pennsylvania, where snow was still candycoating the earth.
Within a few short minutes, I had located a list of closeby blogs. And I found Cyclical-Nature, written by Debbie --I don't even know her last name -- someone I have never met, will likely never know, and yet, who has spoken to me about the weather we shared on a beautiful day. We looked up, saw the same sky, reveled in the same blue breezes that swirled and frolicked among the same suburban streets. In the same place, but never meeting. Meeting, but never seeing face to face.
I visited several beaches the next day and probably let my toes sink into the same sand she walked in. Were the pock-marks... the tiny, caved-in craters of unstable grains above the tideline... the marks of her own feet? After all, almost no one visited the beach those days.
Computers, for all their faults, give life a richness impossible to deny.
It doesn't hurt that Debbie's an English major (good luck on the literary analysis -- welcome to the neverending world of Lit Majors :-) ). Never despair, Debbie. You can do it.
Want to know if you're a writer, Debbie? Choose to be one and go for it! Writing is not a mystical experience (no matter what characters like Joyce's Stephen Dedalus might wish --Joyce himself was happy to write one clause a day) but rather an exhilarating regimen.
If you worry about talent, remember that hard work and focus usually overcome talent. Focus, so you can concentrate on writing and improving your skills. Hard work, because you should be insatiably relentless in the virtue of pursuing the talent you have, and because Robert Louis Stephenson said so.
Of course, everyone is different. This is how being a writer is a mystical experience. To write is to discover yourself, questing to understand your own way, and sticking with what works for you. This is why I don't even pay too much attention to my own advice, which is just a cluster of (???) duct-taped together from the writings of people I like to read. The duct tape obscures the core inside. Jewels? A broken clay pot? More duct tape?
Blessings to Debbie. Blessings and thanks to the Web. May you bring out all that is joyful, honest, and caring in our weak natures in the years to come, and may we not destroy ourselves by your powerful hand.