Is a writer ever satisfied?
October 30, 2015
IS A WRITER ever satisfied?
Should a writer ever be satisfied?
Or are we destined, or cursed, to spend, or waste, our days in pursuit of a perfection that probably doesn’t exist.
I wake up in the morning with two thoughts on my mind.
Find a better story.
Write a better story.
I remember the one I wrote yesterday.
I wish I’d written it differently.
We’re all on a merry-go-round and trying to grab the gold ring.
We see it.
We know we can reach it.
I’m not sure the gold ring exists either.
During my growing up days, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter.
Chase the sirens.
Chase down a story.
See my words in print.
On a daily newspaper, I could see them in print every day.
So I began my odyssey from small town newspapers in Gladewater, Mount Pleasant, and Plainview to the big one, the Fort Worth Start Telegram.
It had a circulation of more than 230,000 every day.
I had finally made it to where I wanted to be.
There were 230,000 people out there seeing my words in print every day.
I woke up one day and wanted to write press releases.
The stories weren’t as good.
The pay was better.
So I said goodbye to the daily grind of a daily newspaper and became the chief of media relations for the Texas Tourist Development Agency.
Title sounded impressive.
All I did was write glowing press releases about the travel destinations of Texas.
After a while, they all sounded alike.
So I looked around and decided I wanted to write for slick, four-color magazines.
I left Texas.
I woke up in Alabama.
And I was writing for Southern Living Magazine.
It would become the hottest regional magazine in America with a circulation topping two million.
It couldn’t get any better.
More than two million people were seeing my name in print every month.
I should have been satisfied.
Now I wanted to write books.
So I wrote three for Southern Living.
My printed words were in bookstores and libraries.
Could it get any better?
I hoped so.
I wandered back to Texas and went to work for a custom publishing company, writing more than fifty books in the twenty-five years I was there.
There were my words encased in hardback books.
We sold millions.
I should have been happy.
But, no, I wanted to write fiction.
I wanted to write novels.
So now I’m writing novels.
Wrote a western.
I wanted to write a mystery.
Wrote a mystery.
I wanted to write a thriller.
Wrote a thriller.
I didn’t want to write so dark.
So here I am, and I’m probably no different from any other writer.
I love the book I write today.
I won’t like it tomorrow.
I think I can do better.
I damn well ought to do better.
I don’t even know why I wrote it that way in the first place.
I’m never satisfied.
I believe that when writers are satisfied with the books they have just produced, they have written their last books.
Take a look at this blog.
I’ve said what I wanted to say.
But even now, I wish I had written it differently.