Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guest Blog: Maryann Miller

As a child, all I ever dreamed of was being a writer. When I grew up, I became a journalist. Not that there's a whole lot of difference between the two in spirit, it's only definition. We who put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard, do so out of a driving need to say something. Thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings stir around inside us seeking some sort of expression.

For writers of fiction that expression comes through worlds they create. For journalists it comes through worlds created for them.

So, you might be asking yourself, what's the big deal?

The big deal is not the difference between writers and journalists; it’s the difference between dreams and reality.

Once, my daughter handed me Ann Rice's Feast of All Saints with the comment, "I'd be a writer if I could write like this.”

My daughter went on to explain that numerous times through high school and college teachers would tell her she should consider writing. (Must be in the genes.) They'd praise her ability to be articulate on paper, not an ability to be taken lightly, and for a moment a glimmer of possibility might shine. Then it was snuffed out with the attitude "If I can't do it like one of the great masters of language, I don't want to do it at all."

How many of us as authors have gone down the same mental path and let that thinking deter, or even quash a writing career?

What a shame.

It took me a while, but I finally came to the realization that my use of language may not be as poetic as Ann Rice's, but it does have a flavor that is uniquely mine. It is my voice and sometimes that voice has something worthwhile to say. And I believe that is true for all writers. We just need to trust that voice and that passion that drives us to write.

As a journalist and author, Maryann Miller amassed credits for feature articles and short fiction in numerous national and regional publications. The Rosen Publishing Group in New York published nine of her non-fiction books including the award-winning, Coping With Weapons and Violence in School and On Your Streets, which is in its third printing. Doubletake, a mystery written as Sutton Miller, was published by Clocktower Books. Her latest releases are One Small Victory from Five Star/Gale, and Play it Again, Sam from Uncial Press. She has also written several screenplays and stage plays, and was the Theatre Director at the Trails Country Centre for the Arts in East Texas for five years. Miller is currently the Managing Editor of WinnsboroToday.com, an online community magazine for a small town in East Texas where she lives on some acreage with her husband, a horse, two goats, three cats, two dogs, and a variety of wild critters that wander through. Visit her at http://www.maryannwrites.com/

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