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The Gearheart – A Free Audiobook

Mistaken

by on Mar.25, 2010, under News

I have gotten a lot of e-mail traffic since Episode 37 went live. You’ve sent so many praises and well wishes that my inbox seems to overflow at times. I want to say something to all of you who have sent me letters of thanks:

You have our relationship all wrong. I should be thanking you.

Like most writers who don’t have wealthy significant others, I have a day job. I have always had a day job. It’s how you pay the bills. I have the incredible fortune of loving my day job. Most people don’t. However, there are still two people living inside my body- Alex White the graphic designer and Alex White the writer. I spend eight solid hours a day burying the writer, only to bring him out for fleeting moments like contraband. I’m in love with what I do, but it’s not the same as who I am.

The world does not smile upon those who write. I think it has judged them fairly, since most people prefer to talk about writing as opposed to actually doing it. Of those who do it, few are willing to (really and truly) take criticism, and even fewer are willing to apply it to their work. That’s why people think writers are losers. That’s why everyone knows a “writer”: a man or woman who has a terrible novel in a desk that took a decade to complete, who has read all of the how-to books, who quotes Stephen King’s seminal treatise like scripture… who will never, ever make it. He or she is really great at talking about what he or she does and at talking down to everyone else. Maybe the “writer” met a famous editor/agent/author once, and that person told the “writer” that he or she had “the stuff.”

To me, a writer is someone who creates works that people want to consume. No amount of talking, posturing or research makes a person a writer in my mind. I’m a very skeptical person, too, so I need proof of success. I don’t like to talk about myself as a writer, because I’m afraid of becoming a “writer.” I often spend my days feeling like I know what I’m doing, only to wonder if I’m crazy, and everyone secretly thinks I’m a failure. However, the craft of writing lives in a vacuum, and so I press on like I always have- scared and without reinforcement.

When I looked down at my e-mail and saw all of the beautiful things you said to me, I felt like a writer. These moments in life are so tiny and so unexpected, like the first time you hear your sleeping child sigh. You have given me something to cherish, and I can go forward with my head held high. This world contains such a grand cacophony of distractions, each one a shearing force on the person you see in the mirror, tearing you away from what you were meant to be.

And so, for these quiet minutes, you have made me feel like myself, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.



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1 Comment for this entry

  • Michael

    Hello, Alex.

    Greetings from Texas (of all places). I’m a new fan of your work, and wanted to second the accolades you are certainly already receiving from other listeners. I find myself wanting to say “readers”, the fine quality of your and your wife’s audio performances not withstanding, you are a “writer”, in the nonpejorative sense of that word.

    You are in fact quite a talented writer. While I have no credentials to back up that asservation; I do know better than to employ a word like asservation in anything but a tongue in cheek fashion. And I have been known (contrary to popular opinion of those from Texas) to read books other than the bible.

    To further bolster my clearly limited credibility, I should also note I’ve even read novels that were totally bereft of moody vampires, adolescent wizards and professors of Religious Symbology. I have never, however, read (or worn) anything one might call “steampunk”; in fact I only recently researched the subgenre on the font of all knowledge, wikipedia.

    And then I queried “steampunk” on iTunes, and happily stumbled upon your “ebook”. Honestly I held little hope of enjoying it, but gave it a go anyway. I’m glad I did. The point of all of my rambling is to say you have one more fan; and I will do my best to send others your way. I wish for you (and expect) every success.

    ~Michael

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