There is a writer in all of us

The Western Star - - Close To Home - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE WEST­ERN STAR Ni­cholas Mercer Ni­cholas Mercer is the on­line ed­i­tor with The West­ern Star. He lives in Cor­ner Brook and can be reached at [email protected] thewest­ern­star.com

Writ­ing was not al­ways what I was go­ing to do.

I was go­ing to be a com­puter pro­gram­mer or some­thing else that kept me away from writ­ing lengthy para­graphs for a liv­ing.

I didn’t make the con­scious choice that I could put words to pa­per un­til my early 20s. I al­ways en­joyed English as a sub­ject, but not enough to make it a ca­reer.

I was work­ing overnights at the Tim Hor­tons in Par­adise when I made the choice to go back to school.

Sud­denly, I was go­ing to get an English de­gree and be­come a writer.

What I’m try­ing to tell you is that any­one can be a writer. Heck, you might al­ready be one.

You do not have to work for a news­pa­per or spend your days putting to­gether sen­tences for a book to be con­sid­ered a mem­ber of the pro­fes­sion.

If you have a notebook with some scrib­blings, you’re a writer. You just haven’t re­leased your book yet.

Re­ally, it doesn’t take much to be a writer.

All it takes is a piece of pa­per, a uten­sil to trans­fer what is in your head onto a piece of pa­per and the gall to put your­self out there.

Gall might not be the right word here. It takes plenty of self-con­fi­dence to be a writer — pro­fes­sional or oth­er­wise.

That is the mes­sage those be­hind the Page-One Writ­ers group are try­ing to get peo­ple to re­al­ize.

If you have a notebook on your end ta­ble with some po­ems or the start of a short story, you’re a writer.

This week­end they’re fo­cus­ing on sci­ence fic­tion and fan­tasy with their Sci-Fi and Fan­tasy Near the Lake event that got un­der­way Thurs­day.

It fea­tures books read­ings from spe­cial guests, writ­ing work­shops for those 50-plus and other as­pects, in­clud­ing an art dis­play and a cos­tume work­shop.

The sci­ence fic­tion and fan­tasy gen­res are ar­guably as pop­u­lar as they have ever been, so it made sense Page-One would fo­cus on them this time around.

Since start­ing in 1987, the group — founded by Mar­liyn Young, Jean Young and Jean His­cock — has en­cour­aged writ­ers and those who don’t know they’re writ­ers from the west coast to get their work out there for peo­ple.

Through var­i­ous grants, they’ve been putting off writ­ing work­shops and have re­leased nu­mer­ous pro­jects where they’ve al­lowed writ­ers of any ex­pe­ri­ence to see their work pub­lished.

On the 10th an­niver­sary of their start, Page-One re­leased its first book. Since then, they’ve helped nu­mer­ous au­thors get their names in print.

That in­cludes Jean Young’s novel, where she spoke about mul­ti­ple generation­s of one fam­ily.

“Writ­ing has a way of ty­ing generation­s to­gether and pub­lish­ing makes that con­nec­tion con­crete,” she said re­cently.

With this be­ing the group’s 30th year, they have eyes on re­leas­ing an an­thol­ogy and they want you to write for them.

If you’ve ever thought about be­com­ing a writer or shar­ing those thoughts in­side your head, here’s your chance. Who knows?

I might even write some­thing.

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