"Scribble, scribble, scribble;
another damned fat book,
eh, Mr. Gibbon?"

The Duke of Gloucester, upon receiving
the 4th volume of "The Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire"

To draw a distinction modified from one made by James A. Michener, a "writer" is not the same as a "best-selling author." The second title implies that the art is practiced crassly to make money--which I have in big numbers, with the only possible exception being that the sign in front of those numbers is negative! Furthermore, an "author" is someone who wears an ascot and is lionized among parties of literati. The writer is one who does the hard grunt work of writing--a solitary pursuit of well- crafted expression--an art that is a communicative compulsion whether or not the work is published and bought. The precision use of words in defining meaning is an art that might be pursued for its own sake, and it is a surprise that so many people find it useful and even entertaining.

"If facts be nature's words, our words should be true
signs of nature's facts. A word rightly imposed is a
landmark indicating so much recovered from the region
of ignorance."

Sir William Withey Gull (1816--1890)
Published Writings, Volume 156
"The Study of Medicine"

Like the marathon, it is the "running", and not the "having run"; and "writing" rather than "having written" is the reward. And, it is not easy.

As is true of many other well-set goals for which real effort is invested in other strivings listed in "Academic Achievements", or "Adventures", the limited sense of satisfaction with the last accomplishment is not nearly so exciting as looking forward to still bigger challenges coming up next. There is little enough time to glory in much looking back if there is a bigger and better hurdle set higher right ahead. Do not speak to me much about what you have been; tell me what you are becoming. I am becoming a "for serious" writer.