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Author Antics It’s the Little Things

If you’ve ever confused “a penny for your thoughts” with a job offer, you might be a writer.

Becoming a writer has changed my life in many ways. Who I am as a person hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still interested in the same things, engage in the same idle thoughts, and waste my time in the same fashion. Of course, now I get paid for it. That’s a change I enjoy to some degree even though I don’t do it for the money. I learned from my career as a minister that it’s possible to work constantly and starve while doing it.

In that regard, my writing career has been more financially lucrative. The money’s the same but now I only have to feed me and my Uncle Sam instead of a family of six. Folks mean it when they say talk (and writing them) is cheap. On the plus side, nowadays I miss the immediacy of rejection.

Writers are, by their very nature, interesting people. When I was in the military we had a marching song that began, “I don’t know, but I’ve been told…” I know writers are interesting because I’ve been told they are. From my side of the fence, it doesn’t look that way. As I said, I haven’t really changed. I’m still as common as a cold.

Perhaps the most noticeable change is in how I am perceived by others. Tell someone you’re a preacher and that’s usually enough for them to apologize for swearing and move on to someone else. Tell someone you’re a nurse and you’ll be dispensing medical advice. But, tell someone you’re a writer…

There’s a certain look that comes over them. It’s a wistful mix of inspiration and wonder. The trick is to realize that it’s not you they are enamored with but the craft. Everyone has a story they would love to tell. I’m particularly impressed by writers who are penning their memoirs at thirty.

It’s no secret that there are writers who have made millions selling their books. There are preachers who make millions too, but they are seen more as devils than celebrities. The idea that people actually buy my books blows my mind more than the things of my youth ever did. That might mean I’m a writer.

Jack LaFountain


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