To Write or Not to Write – Still the Question?

To Write or Not to Write – Still the Question?

My writing life, or writerly life as I heard it phased and repeated (by me more than anyone else), is not, as I tend to complain ad nauseum in my journal, at a standstill. It has, however, been on a different track of late.

I have written two scholarly papers, one on the “Mother of the American Novel,” Susanna Rowson and her transatlantic seduction tale, Charlotte Temple; and a second on the short-lived alternative newspapers at Texas A&M-Commerce (then East Texas State University) during the late 1980s to early 1990s, The East Texan Lite and The Least Texan.

Additionally, I have rewritten previously completed, scholarly papers for presentation at three local and international conferences and conventions: The 18th Irregular Miami J’yce Birthday Conference in Florida, the 2013 International Steinbeck Conference in San Jose, CA, and LeoCon 2013 in Commerce, TX. Besides those wonderful travel adventures, a small teaching role (writing, of course), and squeezing a few more lines into the pages my creative works, I added a couple of lines to my creative writing vita with the publication of “Cool Morning Air,” a short story, in the Ishaan Literary Review and worked as an assistant fiction editor (reader) for the Mayo Review.

All and all this has been a rather productive semester. I’ve built and bungled friendships and familial relationships—those who know me realize this circumstance is nothing new in my life—and I’ve settled into a place that, despite its many shortcomings, I now call home. I’ve just finished my weed-eating and am about to go visit my mother, because today is Mother’s Day and I love Mom. I had, again, grilled cheese for breakfast (still sans bacon but I will remedy that soon), and now I’ve completed my first blog entry in several weeks.

The question now, however, is no longer “To write or not to write?” The question has become “What do I write next?” or “What direction should my writing go?” or, to paraphrase a student’s paper on his own writerly life, “What does the writer in me want to be?”

We shall see.




  1. Dr. Bob Cox · · Reply

    Writers write because it leaks out of every pore in the body. Not writing is to be dead while still walking. Wanting to know what to write next is a trap that sucks you down into a series of books with characters you no long like and plots so thin that there is no amount of effort that can make them interesting to you as a writer.
    I just made that up.

    1. Nice – and I thought I could be depressing. Thanks, Bob. 🙂

  2. Dr. Bob Cox · · Reply

    On the other hand you could be a comic book writer, or have a regular column in the newspaper. 600 words a week, then take the best columns, arrange them into topics and make a book out of them with a catchy title.
    Is that a little less depressing?

  3. More blogs is always a good place to start. It can spark ideas. Also, following other’s blogs. It has greatly inspired me. Join a writer’s group? Best of luck whatever direction your writing rambles.

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