This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Pearl Harbor Day

FILE--Three U.S. battleships are hit from the ...Image via Wikipedia

         Today, December 7th, is the anniversary of the "date that will live in infamy".  These were President Franklin D. Roosevelt's words about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  This attack on a U.S. military base was the 9/11 of that generation.

         The world had experienced a decade of economic depression and was in the throes of societal upheavals. Mighty powers were on the rise in Europe and Asia as the winds of war began raging over the continents.  Though the United States was in a different hemisphere, there was plenty for our citizens to feel insecure about.

           In many ways the world has bigger threats than we did back in 1941.  We get our news instantaneously now and there is an illusion of more transparency in what we know about what's going on.  But the surprises keep coming.

           We have plenty of threats to be insecure about these days: nuclear weapons, cyber-attacks, civil unrest, financial collapse, and on and on.  The world has always been an insecure place but now the possibilities and probabilities of something truly horrendous, or at least massively disruptive, loom over us like a cloudy day that never clears.

           As writers we likewise have a forecast of doom and gloom heading our way.  A tough economy with high unemployment is causing more prospective authors to pursue the writing dream, creating more competition.   E-books threaten the publishing industry while internet threatens the print media.  There is a strong possibility that there will be less places for writers to turn to in order to have their work published pushing more writers into self-publishing and finding more creative ways to reach the buying public.

          With the uncertainty and the challenges ahead I am sometimes hesitant to keep pursuing writing as anything more than a hobby.  And yet with writing dreams of my past left unfulfilled I could be dooming myself to an empty space within if I don't continue to chase the dream.

          The quandary remains.  Will writing ever pay the bills?  If not, who will pay the bills?  The writing as vain pursuit haunts me as much as the possibilities that tempt me with some vague promise of success in some unknown point of the future.

           So I write and build up my fortress of words.  A backlog of blogs waits for future readers to come.  Or is that all just digital detritus that will eventually drift into the oblivion of unread folly.  Will my kingdom of stories see its date of infamy one day?   Is there a writer's equivalent of Pearl Harbor?   Can this writer gather his inner forces to fight back to win the war against insecurity?  It's my plan, but still I can't help having the doubts sometimes.   Maybe I should write a story about it.

.Do you like surprises?  Do you like to surprise others?:    I'd like to surprise another blogger who I doubt will read this.  I'm asking any of you who don't mind to go to the Heim Binas Fiction blog Wednesday post (that's today if you're reading this on Wednesday) and wish her a happy birthday.  For her birthday she's asking for bloggers to share a favorite song by linking to it, quoting lyrics or whatever.   I think she'd be thrilled to hear from you.      And thanks from me! 


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  1. It's tough to know that that atrocity happened 70 years ago, it's important we never forget for sure. Great post Lee, great post as always buddy, keep it up.

  2. I will go now and wish her a happy birthday!
    Don't give up on the writing dreams. No, it doesn't pay the bills. But writing should come from the heart because you want to, not because of money.
    And thanks for the reminder of today. Pearl Harbor should never be forgotten.

  3. Very good post. I thank you for the reminder of Pearl Harbor. Our history should remind and teach us, not be forgotten and rewritten so as not to offend anyone.
    Writing may never pay my bills, but it is the thrill of getting my stories out there finally that keep me motivated. At least it gets them out of my head. ;)

  4. Greetings Lee,
    A poignant posting and a reminder that we have a long ways to go before we reach some kind of lasting peace in a world where we celebrate the diversity of differences.
    I shall duly go over and wish your friend a 'happy birthday'. We can show clear demonstration of the interaction we can share within the great and varied blogging community.
    I thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment on my latest posting, Lee. Please remember you will never be alone and we can truly see the vivid colours beyond the black, grey and white perception that the thief known as depression tries to convey.
    In peace and kind wishes, Gary

  5. 'Can this writer gather his inner forces to fight back to win the war against insecurity?'

    I know you can, my friend. No doubt in my heart.

    And I love surprises. :)

  6. These are tough times. One has to be creative, resourceful, flexible, and a little lucky. My concern is the market becomes flooded with self publishers and my books become lost in a sea of books. So better establish that cyber presence now I tell myself.

  7. What is the writing equivalent of Pearl Harbor? I don't know if there is one. As long as we've got sharp sticks and ashes we can keep writing. Even blindness hasn't stopped many from becoming successful authors. If something apocalyptic happens, we won't have Amazon or Kindles anymore, but you can guarantee people will still be writing things down and distributing them. I know I will!

  8. Matthew -- thanks for stopping and I hope you are doing well.

    Alex -- I don't think I'll ever hang up my writing dreams, but I may have to put them in better perspective.

    Lass -- It's good to see our work get read. It's also good to learn from history.

    Gary -- Mutual support is a good thing and I thank you for your comment. Also, thanks to you and Alex for wishing Carrie happy birthday.

    Suze -- I know I could use a few happy surprises these days.

    Stephen -- You've got a great attitude.

    Kelly -- I will too. The legacy of humanity in all its best and worst needs to be passed on.


  9. >>...probabilities of something truly horrendous, or at least massively disruptive, loom over us like a cloudy day that never clears

    Very accurate and very well phrased, too.

    OK, gotta think of the right song now and then head on over to the birthday girl's place to deliver it.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. Pearl Harbor will always be remembered. We all feel the same way about what is to come in the writing world. I was at a writing meeting the other day and for the first time they tried to appeal to Self-published authors, but when an SP author raised their hand and asked if they could 'belong' they said no. Um...then what was the point. I'm not a SP author, but I know the possibility is there for all of us some day. Keep writing, keep sharing, and keep changing lives one word at a time.

  11. Does anyone remember Milo's meadow from Bloom County. I feel the need to lay down in the dandelion patch. Sigh.

    Instead I'll go wish your friend a Happy Birthday.

  12. I saw on our news about Pearl Harbour, I have heard about it but never seen footage before.
    Will go and say a special Happy Birthday,


  13. Thanks for referencing such an important date...even though it was in regard to insecurity. Just keep plugging Lee. That's all any of us can do! I headed over to the birthday link. Nice idea!

  14. StMc -- Despite the gloom on the horizon we still can find the will to wish a happy birthday to someone. I had a feeling you'd go along with the birthday song -- Thanks.

    Ciara - Thanks! When you're on the outside looking in you've gotta look for a door that's been left open.

    LD -- I don't remember the Bloom County reference but the dandelion field sounds inviting. Thanks for wishing Carrie happy birthday.

    Yvonne -- There have been some fine movies made about Pearl Harbor. Footage of the event is often shown in documentaries about WWII.

    Liza -- Going from depressing thoughts to a happy birthday is a good idea.


  15. You are too sweet with that birthday surprise - I'll head over.

    Definitely don't stop writing and don't give up on the dream - but it's wise not to count on a whole lotta money coming along w/ that dream.

  16. I just watched From Here to Eternity again the other day...

    We write because we have to write, I suppose. I can't imagine not creating stories :-)

  17. It is truly terrifying what humans can do to each other.

  18. Never let go of your dreams. :)

  19. Nicki -- Carrie is one of my earliest blogging friends. I'm not going to stop writing or give up on the dream, but I am going to have to find an income solution.

    Carol-- A big battle may be coming as I see enemy forces gathering to threaten me in the future.

    Deniz -- Yes, you might call it a compulsion.

    Jemi -- It is sad.

    Emily -- Never! I even have a dream blog now to prove it.


  20. I went to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. There is an incredible aura in that place. I dream of being published, but even if I never am, I can't stop writing. It's out of my hands.

  21. Wave a magic wand on those insecurities and bid them goodbye....and just write because you love to not because its a job, unless you are James Patterson where you hire ghost writers for your writing book business....
    That said...recognition matters and you will find it someday soon...I do visit your blog often but tend to stay silent.

  22. Will writing pay the bills is probably the wrong question. The right question is "Is writing a worthwhile endeavour?" Sometimes I'm not sure. Sometimes I very much doubt it. But most of the time I know the answer is YES.

  23. I don't always feel that I have anything useful to contribute, but I'm glad you have all those posts for me to read :-)

  24. It's amazing how you well you tied in IWSG with the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor! You have far too much to offer to retire from writing! I'm off to extend belated birthday wishes!

  25. Most often the writing is about the journey, the building of that fortress of words. And blogging is publishing of a sort.

  26. Change is not an easy thing to cope with for most people, but I believe creative people have an edge there. Our imaginations crave change. You'll get there one day Lee.

  27. Leslie -- We writers are on a mission to write.

    Rek -- But the fact remains that we all need some kind of source of income and that source may require having a job that takes away valuable writing time. Please say something-anything--when you visit. Your comments are always appreciated.

    Jen -- A lot of things are enjoyable to do but if they are just a time and money suck then even it is a self-fulfilling activity one must evaluate if it's worth it. Writing is worthwhile in my opinion but I have to consider to what extent.

    Sarah - When you visit my site no matter what you say is valuable to me.

    Insider -- Thank you for all of that. And I'm not retiring but I will probably have to divert my energies to something that produces more income for me.

    Lynda - I like that "publishing" aspect of blogging, but...well, I don't want to be repetitive about financial return.

    Miranda -- My life has been filled with big changes and I tend to adapt.


  28. I've always assumed I'd never make a living from writing, but I write just the same.

    I really think there will always be some writers that will rise to the top and receive fame and fortune, no matter what the future holds for publishing. But then there will be others whose work will be enjoyed in small circles. And that's okay too.

  29. Good points Lee and a salutory reminder.
    I feel the pressure of wanting my writing to be lucrative and that only stifles my writing creativity.

  30. As the author of six books I can safely say writing does not pay the bills. But it can lead to other opportunities.
    My father served in the Navy during WWII, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

  31. I say follow your dream Lee. The independent road of creativity takes many twists and turns that include not only financial returns, but a belief of belonging to this world through our expression. Let your voice be heard and the "universe" will take care to point you in the right direction.

  32. Karen -- I still want to be able to make at least enough to pay some bills, but being read is important too.

    Madeleine -- Too much stress can be a real hardship and make it difficult to get much done with creative quality.

    L. Diane -- It pays the bills for some writers, but the other opportunities can be just as valuable.

    Paula -- We never know what's gonna happen until it happens, but it's not gonna happen unless we're doing something that might make it happen.



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