Some people I known think metaphorically. It is a gift, an enviable one, resulting in some of the finest writing. In my mid-sixties now, I look up to writers like Matt Freese who are able to incorporate one metaphor after another in almost everything he writes. I recommend a visit to Matt’s website at www.mathiasbfreese.com .
It has taken me this long to develop the writing skills I have. It feels like a lifetime; and yet it has gone by very quickly and now I’m towards the end of it all, when I’m counting on finally maturing and producing something of significance. I ain’t finish yet; I tell myself that all the time. And I also find myself wondering why I care so much when I’m setting myself up for a bumpy ride. For one thing I don’t think metaphorically and in spite of that I want to be a good writer. I personally have met and have known writers who are craftsman and who achieved their skills early in life.
A writer like that who comes to mind is Lawrence (Larry) Cheek. My direct contact with Larry extends over a long period of time. It was in Tucson that we knew each other; our wives are still close friends. They now live in the Seattle area and only occasionally come to the southwest. I wouldn’t describe Larry’s and my relationship as close. We’ve never talked about writing. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t read anything I have written. It would be presumptuous of me to imply otherwise. However, I admire his work immensely and would recommend anything he has written: I know he is a craftsman. I’m again envious. I have been. And then again, why do I care so much. I know our worlds are totally different. Even though that’s true, maybe we’re linked by the process of writing; yet I know there’s no way to compare us, except by saying he’s better, which is putting myself down, something I know I shouldn’t do. I’m really not very emotional about it. I try to shield myself by remembering the positive feelings I get from writing. I can congratulate myself for my tenacity. I don’t know where my drive comes from but just because I have it doesn’t mean I can demand other people’s interest.
Lawrence Cheek’s book THE YEAR OF THE BOAT BEAUTY, Imperfection, and The Art of Doing It Yourself has been released by Sasquatch Books in 2008. Here is a short blurb about it. www.lawrencecheek.com “It began as a project to build a wooden sailboat in a suburban garage within a self-imposed deadline of one year. But difficulties—both technical and emotional—made a shambles of the deadline, and Lawrence Cheek’s project to build a boat became an inquiry into the nature of beauty, a struggle with obsession and perfectionism, and finally a question of character. The Year of the Boat is the story of how one man built a boat in spite of himself.”