Kroeker & Craig’s “On Being a Writer,” chapter 5

Chapter 5: Write

You owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at.

Thank you, W.H. Auden (poet). This is what I do; I write. I don’t even find it all that interesting, unless I’m talking with other writers.

In my regular ol’ life, most of my friends and family members aren’t writers, and I don’t expect them to understand me. It’s a little like the difference between muggles and magic folk in Harry Potter. It’s fine that we’re different. We like the same food, listen to the same rain. Only I can use a portkey—comma—and they can’t. I know spells—word combinations—that will make you cry or laugh or reconsider your actions. I make up unapproved spells—poems—in my spare time. I’m not better than my muggle friends, just different. I’m OK, and you’re OK. So I kind of wear my “I’m a Writer” badge on a necklace tucked under my shirt because, well, what else is new? I’d rather talk about other things, like how I’m getting better at yoga, or about the amazing use of the word “nice” in “Into the Woods.”

In truth, I’ve found that any day’s routine interruptions and distractions don’t much hurt a work in progress and may actually help it in some ways. It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters.

Stephen King speaks truth! I can’t tell you how often I’ve solved a problem in something I’m writing because the dogs started barking and needed to be let out. That interruption almost always helps the work in progress. I’m about to take a child to the doctor. I’m bringing along my computer since we’ll have to wait. It will either fix the dilemma in my current article or force me to move onto something else for the time being. Either’s good.

I don’t have a vision when it comes to writing. I don’t have a message. I’m not writing a masterpiece. I’d rather be prolific than popular. There’s no room for perfection when as soon as you get one issue of magazine on the stands, you’re already writing the next issue.

Ah, but I still try. 🙂



  1. If grit makes pearls, we’re turning out some beauties!

    Thanks for sharing this insight and weaving your own spells. You’re working some magic here, friend. Love it.

  2. I love this comparison of muggles and magic folk to the writerly way. The unapproved spells made me smile. And now I want to read Harry again.