To Those Who Read My Words,
Please forgive me as I set aside my attempt at witty prose and likable characters to share something with you. I understand that this post is breaking a pretty solid pattern and that is inherently dangerous, but I feel as though the message I have for you is worth the risk. It is simply this, THANK YOU.
When I was a little younger I realized a few things about writing. One was that, although I felt like I had a gift to write, that gift was just a seed and it needed many hours of practice to help it bloom into what it was meant to be. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. Another was that I knew I could not get there on my own. I had a deep need to know what others thought and felt when they read my words. I needed to know if I was making a difference.
Self-discipline and patience do not come naturally to me. That is how I know I could not do this without you and for that you will always have my deepest gratitude. As you share your thoughts, criticisms, feelings, and comments with me, you are silently pushing me forward to my dreams.
When I began to realize these things about writing, I staked a claim in the future, and attempted to have a constant reminder of what it would take to get there. I wrote the speech I would give when (not if) I won the Pulitzer. It was written for me, but also for you. If you are a writer, never give up. If you are a reader, what you choose to read and say to each author is what gives us the strength to write again. Each one needs the other. We must always remember that.
My Pulitzer Speech
Thank you. Many young writers have asked me how to become a great writer. My answer to them is the same no matter what their age, training, or skill level is. Be stubborn. When I was a young man I was fascinated with photography. One summer, I went to work for a very successful photographer and he gave me a piece of advice that changed my life. He said, “If you want to become a successful photographer, take a picture every day. It does not matter if it is a great picture, just take one.” I took that advice to heart. I just applied it to writing. If a billion people want to be writers, it could take 10 or 20 years for the world to find the voices they want to listen to from the endless sea of those screaming to be heard. The only way to be heard is to still be making noise when everyone else takes a breath. You have to be willing to write, even if it’s crap, when everyone else says it’s too hard and stops. Sometimes it’s not the best writer who is heard, it’s the last one writing. So write my friends. The greatest thing you ever write will not be the one you win an award for. It will be the one you hated, but wrote anyway just to get to the next day. So write. I will be waiting for you years from now. The world is waiting for you. So write.