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.
I might even write something.
— Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He lives in Corner Brook and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org