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On Writing

Yes, this is yet another piece by an author performing self-examination as to ‘Why do I write?’ So, indulge me.

For me, there are stories inside that need to get out. They are partially formed, just dreamlike themes, but they take shape as I write. I find the story tells itself to me as I write, characters take form when I begin to describe them. I’m not alone in loving to invent characters I know I’m only one among tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

Yet, it appears to be a somewhat rare affliction. When I go to book signings, I encounter a fellow traveler or two; but generally people are in awe of the writing skill.

It reminds me of the story I heard from Robert James Waller, author of The Bridges of Madison County. He held a lecture on a cruise ship about writing. (I’m still waiting for my invitation for a free cruise in exchange for a writing lecture.) He told his audience to just write what was inside. His wife later scolded him, “Honey, everyone is not like you.” Tom Clancy also told people, “Just write.” That advice is fine, but most people admit that they don’t know what to write.

So, to those of you who write, you know what I’m talking about, right? For others, just buy my books!

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Jackson Coppley

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