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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Are You Like John The Writer?




There’s a feeling of dysfunction and loneliness that comes to those who meet John, a man in his 60’s who lives by himself and battles bi-polar disorder.  But there’s also something about him that reminds writers about themselves.

Though we may look at him with a feeling of sadness or empathy, we also feel uncomfortable around him.  He’s a struggling poet who is eager for others to read his creations and provide adulation.  We all need that, no matter how the rest of our life is going. 

We may be married, have kids, friends, good health and some money in the bank, but we still feel we need approval form others when it comes to our writings.

That need for approbation never abates. We all hunger for glory.  If not fame and fortune, then critical acclaim, awards, or just some words of praise and encouragement from a stranger will do.

I’ve known John for at least a decade, maybe for most of the 15 years that I’ve come to a local Starbucks in Larchmont.  He’s often found there, talking to anyone who will listen, or writing, or handing out single sheets copies of his poetry. He is consistently fighting mental demons, the kind that tug at the waking man and the ones that rage within his genes and undermine him.

I see John’s both damaged and frail, and yet is he so different from so many of us?  He wears his heart on his sleeve.  What you see is what you get. No pretense, no masking how screwed up he is.  But he’s a fighter, determined to win the battle with his disease, and convinced his moment to break through and have his writings read and appreciated will come.

But he has no ace up his sleeve, no resources to tap into, and really no blueprint for finding his way through the writer’s maze. He may seem the exception, the odd man out, but I think he’s close to representing all of us, reminding us of our fears, incompetence, weaknesses, and failed pursuits.  He’s a testament to the person who keeps moving forward in the swirling face of a storm.

As a writer, we must recognize the John inside of us, and call upon ourselves to rise above our circumstances, family history, or limitations.  We write with a purpose and passion, driven to convey not just a message to others but a meaning to our own lives.  If my words can teach, inspire, enlighten or entertain you then I will have accomplished something.  Isn’t that what we each want, some type of recognition of the impact we have upon another?

You may never see John’s poetry anywhere, and if you did, you may not feel moved by it, but his pursuit of being heard has touched me and for that, he has accomplished something.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

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