Monday, April 20, 2009

Hey, there's a guy in the room!!

Someone gave me a key and let me in (Grace). Since then I've been hiding in the corner, trembling with shy reserve, afraid to step forward and introduce myself.

Hi, I'm Jim and I'm a writer. Sort of.

I hear all the ladies snickering, and see some of you reaching for your drinks or heading for the powder room in groups of three for safety.

I admit it: I'm not good enough to be called a Hack Writer. Yet.

I think too much about what I write, or about what I might write. I proofread and revise stuff that's perfectly okay the way it is. I worry that every one of you can write better and faster than I can, unless I try harder or steer away from dangerous topics.

I just read Mandy's introductory post and am now well aware of all the mistakes I've made in my writing "career." Hah.

What career? I've sold three articles for less than $200 all told. Still, that makes me a professional, doesn't it? Please tell me I don't have to give back the Key to the Guild. It's such a pretty key, and the company here is outstanding.

You know what I really love doing? "Taking in a moment." You probably can't earn a living writing about those perfect moments in life, unless you're one hell of a poet maybe. But that's my very favorite kind of writing; and finding a way to express the awe and magic of a still and starlit night and weave that into a useful article about the merits of RV camping (real example!) makes me at least feel like a decent writer.

I should have been a journalist. I've been a founding editor and an EIC for two academic publications; but that was years ago and I let the moment flash by me. God, how I loved deadlines and page design and working with writers!

I came to Helium nearly two years ago to try and recapture some of that magic. I've since written some things -- both fiction and non-fiction -- that make me proud. And I've met SO many wonderful writers! Many of you are right here, listed as contributors.

Will I ever be a full-time freelancer -- a dedicated and money-earning Hack? I sure hope so! I can't keep building and fixing things indefinitely. Sooner or later my knees will give out. I do know who to turn to for advice and guidance and friendship in that pursuit.


I'm honored to be counted among you, and thrilled to know each of you. And, no Grace, you cannot have this key back. It's mine, all mine!

Red heart atcha. ~Jim


  1. Anyone who can weave the magic of a still and starlit night into an article about RV camping IS a hell of a decent poet/writer :)

    You're one brave man stepping into this pool of powdered women (more like pony-tailed, smeared mascara, sitting in PJs women (well, that's me anyhow.)) Hi, Jim!

  2. Um... Jim... That's the bathroom key... but you can keep it, if it means so much to you... LOL!

    Seriously, though, whether writing is a part time hobby or a full blown ambition, there is always room here at the Hack Writers' Guild!

  3. Feel free to share our bathroom, Jim. (Just remember the 'seat' rule.) Oh, and you may have to be patient sometimes and wait in line.

    You, a 'sort of' writer? I should be so lucky.