Quotes From My Father: On Serious Writing for Serious Readers.

            My father landed on Normandy beach in about the twenty-third wave.  He was a secretary for the Colonel who took over running the railroads in France as they were captured.  Dad could type about a gazzilion words per minute on a manual typewriter.  That was important, because the Germans only had one that could type half-a-gazzilion wpm.

            After trying so hard to keep his trains and tracks from being blown up, and being shot at a few times, as well as being bombed, he came home and studied journalism at Northwestern on the G I Bill.  He went from there to work in Washington D C, a place known for having no sense of humor.  Then after a brief stint in serious gangster land (Chicago) he ended up in New York editing Railway Age Magazine. 

            The company my Dad worked for all of his career published mostly professional journals and magazines.  My dad ended his career many years later as Executive Editor of Banking Magazine, the journal of the American Bankers Association.  Bankers also have no sense of humor (so I have been told).

            All that serious, professional stuff.  I think that is why it made such a mark when every now and then he would say, “Life is too important to take seriously.”

            His heart was light.  His writing was easy to read, and even, and sometimes especially when the subject was utterly serious and professional.  People not only read his work, they enjoyed his work. 

            We who seek to write, fiction and non-fiction should consider this lesson.  We believe in our work, especially when it is non-fiction – that it is important and oh-so-serious.  But most of all, we want readers.  As my son says, “Lighten up.”  This is a good motto to remember when you are so deeply immersed in the serious importance of your work you can hardly come up for air: “Life is too important to take seriously.”  — J. W. Kizzia

Wednesday Thoughts: Words to Consider.

To all my writer friends struggling to write that novel:  Sneer at whatever gets in your way, laugh at whatever is blocking you and break the bonds of whatever is holding you back.  Remember, restrictions are almost always self-imposed.  Listen, this is what I have been thinking lately.

1.         You have to believe in yourself because maybe nobody else ever will, at least on this side of success.

2.         If writing is your calling, your purpose in life, your reason for being, your source for joy, understand that this desire was not given to you without reason.  The end of the road that turns away is a dead end with a big sign that says “regret.”

3.         Don’t let your past control your future.

4.         Your future is waiting to be created.

— M G Kizzia

And you can quote me.