Behind the Galley Slave

“I am a galley slave to pen and ink.”

-Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

So perhaps the keyboard and screen elbowed out pen and ink long ago, but the essence of de Balzac’s quote remains unaltered: the process of writing is a form of slavery – both a painful and pleasurable form of slavery.

Why do we write?  Why do we bother to spend long hours in front of the computer screen typing words that will most likely never be seen by anyone else?  Why bother with writer’s block and editors and audiences?  We don’t do it for the fame or money (there are careers somewhere out there that promise financial security).  We don’t do it for the glamour (pajamas are more common than heels and suits).  Writing is a compulsion.  I knew that majoring in business or pre-med would grant me a lifetime of security, but instead I chose to go the creative writing path of frustration and freelance work.  Why?  Because I love to write, and I need to write.  Even when my sentences are grammatically incorrect and my paragraphs are dull, nothing brews happiness quite like writing.

With graduation looming too close for comfort, I’m obligated to answer all the “so what are you going to do with your life” questions.  You can’t call yourself a writer without actually writing.  This blog – The Galley Slave to Pen and Ink – will pool writing resources from all over the web.  It aims to find anything useful or inspirational to take your writing from anonymity to known.  And I’m no exception . . . my ambition is the same: to cross that wide sea of anonymity and berth somewhere on the shores of publication.


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