Becoming a writer

becoming a writer

Sometimes I ask myself: What do I want to be when I grow up? And the answer is always: I want to be a writer.

Writers are great. They lounge around in smoking jackets and smoke and drink, and somehow – magically – they produce poetry and prose and dramas. And then they smoke and drink some more.

Who doesn’t want that kind of life?

When I was younger, I wrote and wrote. I wrote bad short stories and abortive novels and really atrocious poetry. Worse: I got a few things published in small (very small) publications when I was in my twenties, which convinced me that it was only a matter of time. Smoking jacket, here I come!

But then I discovered that writing is hard work. Also, a little talent doesn’t hurt, and I began to wonder if I had any talent at all.

I have a friend who is a real writer, with several books (real books!) to his credit. He does not generally wear a smoking jacket. He works at a regular job, and has a family. He writes when he can: late at night, during odd moments in the day. But he never really stops.

Aha! I thought. I can do that, at least! I may not have any talent, but I have a huge amount of stubborn perseverance!

So I began this blog in 2010: one page a day. I have never missed a day yet. I’m a writer at last! Who needs a publisher? I can publish myself! I can edit myself! I can write about any damn thing I please, no matter how silly or irrelevant!

And here we are. I’m still producing the blog, a page a day, silent and grim as death.

I must be a writer by now, right?


Here’s Frank O’Hara’s “Autobiographia Literaria”:



When I was a child
I played by myself in a
corner of the schoolyard
all alone.

I hated dolls and I
hated games, animals were
not friendly and birds
flew away.

If anyone was looking
for me I hid behind a
tree and cried out “I am
an orphan.”

And here I am, the
center of all beauty!
writing these poems!

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

3 Responses to Becoming a writer

  1. I hear ya. And kudos for the daily blog. I talk a lot, but the doing, the writing, not so much. It’s one of my resolutions. What’s today? January 30th? Better get going……

  2. starproms says:

    Yes you are a writer Loren. Thank goodness for self-publishing. Now at last writers can write and readers can read – WHAT THEY ALL WANT TO. LOL

  3. Sylvia says:


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