One of my favorite classes in college was philosophy. I learned more in that professor’s class then all of my classes combined. Though, his class was entirely on piety and the plays of Socrates, Meno, and Plato, I found myself writing outside of my usual element. Which was startling but at the same time completely exhilarating.
This specific professor always inspired me from a literary perspective. He was an accomplished writer, who’d been published in numerous educational magazines and journals. Who had also wrote several books on philosophy and politics, a well respected man. But that isn’t the reason why I gained so much from him.
He taught me to always carry a notepad with me because you never know when you will come up with a good idea for a book, journal, or article. He told me a story about him driving home to Nashville (over an hour away). He was driving late at night coming home from one of his classes. During this period he was listening to the radio, no doubt Western’s own WKYU public broadcast. Anyway, during this period he initiated a thought in his mind that started to broil in his brain. He pulled over on the side of the road, too distracted to drive. He pulled out a notepad and eagerly started to jot down his argument to his internal dispute. He sat alone, in the dark for over two hours scribbling down random ramblings. Those random ramblings ended up in a notorious magazine, which he got PAID for…. a chunk of money! So, in other words no idea is a bad idea but most importantly is that you have the tools when you need them so that you can come back to that idea or dispute and finish it.
The other valuable lesson that he taught me is to consider your audience, so you can cater to the wants of your reader. After sending out our first book to our reader’s, I have realized that I have never really pinpointed my audience. I am torn between adult and YA, already some of our audience is confused about who we are intending this book for….which is looking more with YA, but we have adult scenes in some of it, which makes me want to dive back into the whole thing to fix it all. The other novel that I have been writing on, I know who my audience is, so I have no conflict about what my intentions are.
Some of my greatest works I have ever completed included an essay that was about the reason why I love school lunch. I was forced to read it in front of my entire elementary school. My second major literary accomplishment was in sixth grade, I wrote an essay in regards to child abuse prevention month, titled “Kids are Worth It.” I was forced to read it downtown on our square here in Bowling Green, in front of the mayor and an audience of about 200 people. It scared me to death. Then when I went to high school, I was a journalist and an editor of our school paper. I loved writing then and I love writing even more now. My relationship with writing has become a journey with a happy ending. Even if I never get published, I live to write as I write to live.