‘and I wanna be a paperback writer ...’ Lennon/McCartney

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice;
journalism what will be grasped at once.

Perhaps literature is also the art of writing the wrong thing at the wrong time but making it seem right. There are all kinds of writers and perhaps the most successful are those who by accident or design manage to assimilate an abundance of varied experiences within their lives — experiences perhaps beyond those most people would pay due heed to.

Often they are experiences most people would prefer not to meet. Yet life itself is a journey of experience towards an unknown destination, at the gates of which we are the accumulation of that experience.

Vladimir Rabinovitch was incarcerated in a former Siberian archipelago prison camp and successfully escaped to survive the bitter Siberian winter as a fugitive before walking across the Gobi Desert to freedom, where he eventually wrote his compelling story, The Longest Walk.

How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man?
Bob Dylan (b. Robert Allen Zimmerman; 1941- ) US popular singer. Blowin’ in the Wind

Experience can be derived and utilised in many ways. There is a story of the west coast rock band who, short of inspiration and fresh material , deliberately parted from their wives and girlfriends just to experience the resulting emotions. There is also the true story of a previously successful man who committed a serious criminal offence just to learn what life was really like on the other side of the law and in prison.

To be a writer requires a vision able to penetrate the veil of expectation cast by others. To be able to penetrate the veil requires a broad depth of experience in life. It follows that the more experience you go out to get, the more you find you have to say that is worth saying.

It’s not a writer’s business to hold opinions.
W. B. Yeats (1865-1939) Irish poet. Speaking to playwright, Denis Johnston. May 1977

Okay, but that’s only the writer’s opinion. So where does it go from here?

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) US novelist. Letter to Frances Scott Fitzgerald

If you're a writer, dive in, continue this account and send it to abc