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Someone recently asked me if I like to fight. When I asked them why they asked me that they said, because I have fighter’s hands. After looking at my hands for a moment, I had to admit they were right.

I’d like to say, that while I don’t like to fight, I’ve had to fight for much of my life. I also like to think that I have writer’s hands.

Later, thinking on what this person said, and my own view of my hands, I came to the conclusion that the two weren’t mutually exclusive. I can be a fighter and a writer. There are many paths on the way to becoming a writer. I’m a fighter (though in the sense I’m using it is a synonym for survivor). Jim Carroll, writer of The Basketball Diaries, was homeless and an addict. James Frey, writer of A Million Little Pieces, is a lying, prick. William Shakespeare was the sickly son of a sheriff. Junot Diaz, writer of This is How You Lose Her, lived without a father for years while his father worked in America to earn enough money to bring over his mother and four siblings; once in America he lived less than a mile from the largest landfills in New Jersey. Stephenie Meyer, writer of Twilight, is a Mormon (take that however you like).

As you can see the path to becoming a writer is a winding and, often, unintended. So, if you’re reading this thinking you can’t/shouldn’t/couldn’t be a writer because you’re poor/bad with language/not good enough/left-handed then you’re in good company because most writers have thought or were those things at one time or another.

My point, as always, is: if you want to be writing, then you should be writing.

Be yourself, be well. Write yourself, write well.

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