I’ve written one thousand letters in the last two years. But I am no expert. Writing, much like anything in this world, is a craft, one that must be perfected over many decades, before it can be called perfect…if at all.
There are few books that could be called “perfect”, Frankenstein and Dracula come to mind and by that I am speaking of the originals…Hannibal was absolutely perfect and needed no further additions in my mind.
These are classic stories by authors who have learned to weave a story that fucks with your mind and terrifies you so deeply the stories stay with you for years to come. Your habits in your daily lives are changed because of “perfect” stories, because they affect you so deeply.
Kim Harrison’s Hallow’s series had a character that affected me so deeply I mourned his death for an entire year…I still mourn his death as if he was a real person, not because the story was perfect, but because of how deeply I connected to the characters.
It takes a special talent to connect to your reader so deeply, and while the letters are a good start, they are not the end goal, they are merely a step in the learning process that is becoming a professional Writer.
I will never write for anyone else. I decided that I am writing this. I won’t write articles for people for free, I won’t write for magazines that don’t offer me some kind of payment in kind, because I’ve spent far too many years doing things for free when I should have been at the bare minimum paid for my hours of service work.
That was service work though, and this is different. This is my profession that we’re talking about here. It’s who I am as a person. When I am old and gray and it’s time to send me away to the heavens, I plan to take my favorite pen and my very last journal with me as I go.
I can’t write for others when I do not receive cold hard cash, that’s my line, and that’s something from someone who knows fully that there are a lot of writers out there who have been doing this a lot longer than I have.
There’s a reason I am choosing to do things this way. My bills are paid thankfully, I am getting the medical help that I need, and I am highly supported by people who care about me, which means that as I focus on healing, I can also use this free time to focus on my writing.
I am paying my dues, so to speak, with this blog.
With the other projects that I am working on, with every letter that I write, I am paying my dues to the Gods of literary creation.
If you want to be successful at anything you have to keep working at it. Day by day, hour by hour, chipping away at it until you find the diamond that you are searching for. The same can be said for any art form, any form of work takes the ability and the desire to learn.
Which is why education is so important. This week I gave away a computer and a tablet to a family from Syria, so they would have access to their education, because I’d heard a dozen stories these many weeks about kids who were homeless trying to get their education on.
Kids who are homeless don’t get the kind of education they would have in a stable home, and yet they don’t have a stable home because they live below the poverty line and their family has fallen through the cracks.
I don’t really know why I am bringing this up, except that it’s what my fingers decided to write, and I think it’s important that we all write about it, that we as bloggers use our platform to talk about things that matter.
I am so tired of having such a hard time finding blogs talking about what is really happening in the world. Bloggers who talk about the world in terms of their experience in it, don’t often have a huge following, largely because they aren’t the kind of people that enjoy marketing themselves.
It’s hard to find good bloggers that you can connect to, when you need to know if you’re the only one experiencing the world through the eyes of kids who are homeless while they try to finish school in the middle of a pandemic.
My heart goes out to them, but I don’t know what to do. Years ago I did, it was obvious, get them something to eat, find them somewhere to stay, help them get on their feet.
These days now that I am on the outside of the front lines it’s harder to know who to contact to help, or what I can do to even try to help. So I write about it. Because that’s what I know how to do.
One thousand letters later, and I’ve realized that the power of my voice is only as strong as my convictions, so I decided that the letters had to mean something. They had to be more about helping people than they did about promoting my blog. Sure my information is there, but the art isn’t on the front cover, it’s in the spreading of love from one person to another, knowing I’ll never see them again.
The letters are about ensuring that someone in the world knows, that at that particular time I was writing the letter, I was wondering who it would go to and how they would react. I was hoping it would make them smile, and they almost always do and that feels awesome.
This year I have hundreds and hundreds of letters decorated and ready to go, but no one to hand them out to and that’s hard. It feels like writing them all was for nothing, but as my friend and adopted mama Jen reminds me, they will be needed one day.
So they wait gathering dust until the time comes that we can reunite in public again, when we can gather and celebrate and dance under the shine of the sun and the whisper of the moon. I’ll give them out then, maybe they’ll be even more special, or maybe it really will have been for nothing…but at least it was fun.
I always have fun when I write, because I spend a lot more time wondering whose reading my blog, than I do about the words I say when I write posts about my writing….I am always curious about who you are and where you come from, if you’re happy and healthy and loved.
So introduce yourselves in the comments, I’d love to get to know you,
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall