The Making of a Writer

What does it REALLY take to be a Writer? 

I posted an excerpt of a story, "Love of Life" by Jack London, an American short story and novelist in early American Literature. I also posted a small biography about what brought him to the literary world. He had all odds against him, yet we know and love his work, it is graced in the academic halls of heroes and pursued by researchers still trying to analyze his work and his personal life character and purpose.

It's not easy putting oneself into the public eye, especially when one may be inclined to arguable discontent; yet, as Jack proved, he could not stop himself; he needed to write his stories, tell his talent, and give of himself so deeply that when cut he wouldn't just bleed, he would lose parts of himself, trying to regain those parts through drinking and drugs, because not only are writers driven, many are super-sensitive and privy to such insight, it is unfathomable to the "normal" person with limited emotional capabilities.

Jack London was the epitome of the underdog. Although his end did not seem to be an easy one, he revealed an iron will toward the goal of writing without compromise, and little negotiations. Many writers gave into pressure for prestige, and some became merely a puppet to the real story of their lives and souls, but not Jack London. In spite of his harrowing and difficult life road, we know and love his work without question, and whether or not we agreed with him, we respect his integrity.

It's true, there is always going to be consequences to swimming upstream when everyone else is swimming with the current: it's so much easier to get along and be conformed. But integrity is a kind of thing that doesn't allow for pithy conformity and resignation when one must speak  (or write) one's truth. 

To be authentic, a writer has to give of him or her self without fear or dread of retaliation; it could come, but that isn't the focus. The focus is to share something profound, something so embedded within one's nature and personality, that the stories can be identified as the writer who created them easily by scholars.

This is MY goal, writer, and readers; what about you?

he American writer Jack London. Twenty-five years before Orwell he had disguised himself as a tramp in London's East End in order to write The People of the Abyss.
Photo No. 2: ‘Jack London’ — BBC Hulton Picture Library.
Scan ©:, 2003
[Jack London] [Photo No. 2: Jack London]

© 2001,
Read ‘Love of Life’ by Jack London on
URL: Site about Jack London in German language.


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