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Old 22-10-2008, 08:07 PM   #53
dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: 8000 feet up in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico
Posts: 271
My friend Leonie is right, of course. The way to become a writer is just start writing.

Do it Now, while the soup and bread is paid for. Later you won't have time to do the creative stuff during the daylight hours. Those hours will be needed to pay for the room & board. And it really will take awhile to become a good writer.

There are two techniques you need to master. The Outline & The Daydream.

The Outline is used to plot a story and leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you can come back later and finish/modify what you started to write...

The Daydream is used to fill in the blanks in the Outline.

There is another "trick" that will help you if you actually intend to be a writer. That is to buy a Dvorak keyboard and learn to use it. There really is very little controversy left in the world of typing ergonomics. Dvorak typists can type 200 words a minute without injury. The entire "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" was invented to describe repetitive strain injuries that typists receive from using their qwerty keyboards. All computer operating systems now come with built-in support for the Dvorak keyboard.

It's $2.00 to try it out...

Here's the Wikipedia page,

I recommend you read this page.

And here's something from someone at MIT

And this should convince you

Again, I spent $29.00 to buy a PC Keyboard with the keys in the Dvorak pattern (on eBay, though he doesn't seem to have any for sale right now.) The $2.00 stickers can be used for a trial, along with a simple set of changes to windows or Linux or Mac OS system software. I'm still looking for a USB Keyboard, but they are out there.

If I ever have to "grow up," what do I want to become?

Let's see, what have I done already?
Ceramics pourer for the largest Ceramics outlet in Northern California
high points include making a numbers matched German Luger (The place I worked was attached to a machine shop that specialized in making replacement parts for guns.)

Craft's Instructor at the YMCA
high points sculpting neat things...

Dishwasher at a bunch of places...
high points, free food.
low points, hard to get out of that lifestyle. People don't seem to think you can do more than that.

Gas Station Attendant
high points, One bright shiny day with a Cowgirl, naked on my lap in an empty house looking out the windows and making memories that, so far, have lasted for 44 years.
low points, It would be easy to become a criminal starting here.

Carny (Yes, I ran off and joined the Carnival.)
High points, Let's see if I can find it. I know i left it somewhere... Let me look around.
I remember when I was twenty-one, back when I was "Second Man on the Rock-O-Plane" for Blake and Sons, Concessions, life was like this... Fast and uncomplicated. Hour followed hour.

Some hours were spectacular, like when we escaped the midway for a couple of hours up in The Dalles (Sp?) Oregon. It's an area with a very twisty river running through it that has cut canyons about 8 feet deep in the floor of this flat plain. But the river twists back and forth, like a stream of syrup on a waffle... We stole away from the Carnival for a couple of hours in the afternoon to go swimming/skinny dipping in the Dalles... And when we got there there was this girl... We had a lot of good time. And later that night, after the Carnival closed, (in Oregon, back then, the show closed at Midnight.) After the Carnival closed at midnight we went over to the club where the girl danced. She was the Go-Go Dancer at this 'sort-of" Country Western Bar in Redlands, Washington... I can still close my eyes and see her fly around whenever I hear "I'm 'enery The Eighth I Am... 'enery The Eighth I Am... I Am... I got married to the widow next door, She's been married seven times before, and every one was an 'enery, She wouldn't have a Willy or a Sam, I'm her eighth old man I'm 'enery, 'enery The Eighth I Am...""
Low points, the show closes for Winter.

Payroll Clerk, The State of California
High points, First encounter with computers...
Low points, First female boss, and her menopause.

Night Counselor at The New Mexico School for the Deaf
High points, I love children
Low Points, Children with long term disabilities.

Manual Writer, The Zia Company
High points, Making six multi-media slide shows... Writing, Photographing, Scoring, Producing them.
Low points, one month writing the Response to the RFQ (Request For Quotation) for the new contract... Everyone I knew was expecting to be replaced and everything depended on what I wrote... Never again!

COBOL Programmer, The Zia Company
High points, Sit in cubical, writing code, fed through slot in door... My first experience with total isolation.
Low Points, having to attempt to modify code written by paranoid programmer who deliberately obfuscated the code so he couldn't be replaced. Then he left. He wasn't near as irreplaceable as he thought he was.

Computer Consultant,
High points, the salary...
Low points. Companies hire consultants when they are in trouble. Sometimes it is merely a "Time Crunch" on a project, but most times it is because they have a boss who can't keep employees. A boss who is nasty to his underlings. This is not a job for beginners.

The next 17 years I spent working at Los Alamos National Lab as what they call a "Computer Technician" because I didn't have a degree.
High points, I was part of CORRTEX. We saved the world and ended The Cold War. There were eight of us, I was the peon. Look it up. I forgot to mention going to NTS (i.e. Nevada Test Site) for three Nuclear Tests. Better than the California earthquakes on the sixth floor of that office building, though the building in California (Sacramento) was much scarier.
Low Points, Working in a University environment for Physicists. A Physicist can never admit that he doesn't know the correct answer. Physicists spend the first 30 years hiding from other people, "doing Physics," and then, to be able to afford to hire them, they are hired as the Boss. Imagine working for someone who hides from his employees.

Truck Driver
High points, Sunsets on I-40 headed west. Café Risqué in Lavonia, Georgia talking with "Sunshine" or "Sky" or "Jade"...
Low points, almost any time spent driving a 75 foot long 13 and a half foot tall rig in New York City or Chicago or New Orleans...

So, given those experiences, the best AND the worst times were "writing". And the way the world is changing nowadays where everyone thinks they can write, and usually can't, so nobody actually gets paid to be a writer anymore, I suspect that the right career path is to join the Carnival and write novels all winter. Love a "townie" now and then, and never tell anybody your Social Security Number.

I almost forgot. The essential tool for becoming a "Writer" is

Here it is Used, but in Hardcover for sixty cents and four dollars shipping

Perhaps I could go back to school and learn to make movies like

"Le uova non devono ballare con le pietre."
"Eggs have no business dancing with stones" from the movie "Shoot 'Em Up"

Last edited by dave; 31-10-2008 at 04:35 AM. Reason: To remove the picture. You have to follow the link for the surprise.
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