So You Want to Be a Writer
So You Want to Be a Writer
Here is the story of one man’s journey to becoming a writer.
Do you think you can write 3,000 words a day, or could you write every day for fifty-two years?
Charley Kempthorne, is a former university instructor, farmer, house painter, and now blogger. When Mr. Kempthorne was 26 years old he decided to be a writer. So opened a notebook and wrote. And he hasn’t stopped writing since.
If you’re an avid reader and wondering why you’ve never come across any of his work in a bookstore, library, or on Amazon, it is because Mr. Kempthorne’s chosen field of writing is limited to journaling. Some of you may wonder about the difference between a journal and a diary. A diary reports what happened during the day, something like a Filofax or Day Timer, a journal records more than ones daily experiences, including thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Though young teenage girls, with lock and key equipped diaries, may dispute that point.
Mr. Kempthorne maintains a robust website called Life Story Institute where you’ll find his daily posts. When reading them you’ll find the mundane ramblings of activities as simple as a grocery store trip and witness the decision process he and his wife go through in selecting ice cream, tuna fish (Chicken of the Sea versus Starkist), and which checkout line to choose. On the drive home he avoids eye contact with a street corner beggar, while his wife reads one of her endless supply of Nora Roberts novels. Occasionally you will find something deeply moving such as an encounter in 1960 on the campaign trail with Jack and Jackie Kennedy. It’s touching, as Mr. Kempthorne shares a memory of a look, and a lost opportunity.
On the Life Story Institute website you’ll find access to Life Story Magazine. The magazine’s mission is to “help people write their personal and family histories.” You will also find books that offer guidance for journaling, and Mr. Kempthorne leads workshops for “Reminiscence Writing.”
So if you want to be a writer, stop talking about it, and start writing. If you follow Mr. Kempthorne’s routine of writing something every day, no matter if you’re writing fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, or keeping a journal, you too will become a writer.
Michael J. Tucker
Growing up in the cold northern climate of Pittsburgh, PA, and an only child, Mike was often trapped indoors and left to his own devices, where he would create space ships out of cardboard boxes, convert his mother’s ironing board into a horse and put on his Sunday suit and tie and his father’s fedora and become a newspaper reporter or police detective. This experience left him with an unlimited imagination and the ability to write electrifying short stories and novels.
Mike is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, Aquarius Falling and Capricorn’s Collapse. He has also published a collection of short stories entitled, The New Neighbor, and a poetry collection; Your Voice Spoke To My Ear. His poem, The Coyote’s Den, was included in the Civil War Anthology, Filtered Through Time.
He is a judge for the Janice Keck Literary Award, and the moderator of the Williamson County Library Writers’ Critique Group.
Reviewers of Mike’s novels have compared his writing to: Thomas Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons, and J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Albert Beckus, Professor Emeritus of Literature at Austin Peay University recently wrote of his novels: “They move naturalistically in the American literary tradition of Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, but with a twist…as found in The Great Gatsby.”
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