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Good Morning Nanty Glo!


Wednesday, April 13 2005
Jon Kennedy, webmaster

I write, ergo I am

I'm also a writer because I'm a reader. But that doesn't mean what I thought it would when my mother told me—maybe when I was 15—that if I wanted to be a writer I'd have to read a lot more than I did. I was afraid she was right, although I also knew I was already a writer and nothing could change that. I think my mother meant I'd never be a writer of the caliber of Taylor Caldwell, whose books she was reading at the time, or like Thomas Wolfe; Ross Lockridge, Jr.; or Somerset Maugham, some of whose work I'd been reading about that time. I wanted to become that kind of writer, too, but I'm now convinced that one doesn't become "that kind" of writer by reading. It probably doesn't hurt the process, but that kind of creativity comes from somewhere deeper, or higher, than reading other good writers.

But to become better at the kind of writing I was already doing, I had to read a lot of similar writing and I was doing that and have been ever since. I've always mixed lots of nonfiction and fiction together in my reading, but haven't done much fiction writing and despite hundreds of thousands of nonfiction words published, I've published virtually no fiction.

It hadn't occurred to me when I was the budding teen columnist for the Nanty Glo Journal and Mainline Newspapers that my reading roots were deeper and more subtle than my surface interests. (My reading ranged from Walter Winchell's columns and the Bible, to authors like those already mentioned and Dickens, Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare, J. Edgar Hoover, and others).

From my earliest memories reading was always a daily routine in our house. Mom read her Bible or Bible stories to the children and Dad read the Democrat, later the Tribune-Democrat. They both, as well as my older brothers, from the time before I was old enough to read, also read the Grit on the weekend and there were always magazines in the house like Coronet, Women's Day, (and later, the Reader's Digest) and others. I've often reflected on the number of publications that poor family subscribed to, when I've had no more than one paid magazine subscription in my adult life (and that was a birthday gift one year). But in those "radio days," magazines and papers like the Grit were cheap and a major form of entertainment.

I now read mostly nonfiction books and journalistic websites but there's no mystery about how the reading matter I was exposed to in my earliest years still shapes my writing.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005

Tips for job hunters

If you're in the job market right now you might want to familiarize yourself with the Human Resources Lingo...

"SEEKING CANDIDATES WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE" You'll need it to replace three people who just left.

"PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS A MUST" You're walking into a company in perpetual chaos.

Thought for today

45 Natural Highs

Think about them one at a time before going on to the next one.

14. A good conversation.
15. The beach
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.

Sent by Jules Nagy  

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