Someone asked me, “Why do you call your website Rags to Written?”
Aside from the fact that it has a good ring to it, the phrase suggests a transformation from unfinished to complete, from tattered to done. It encapsulates a writer’s journey and it is, in and of itself, a story.
In a sense, it is autobiographical, as it represents my relationship with my craft as I’ve learned and practiced. I have come to know the difference between writing and storytelling.
My path is not the only way, but my teachers have brought me farther than I could have gone on my own.
Three influences stand head and shoulders above the pack and have had the biggest impact on my craft. In order of discovery they are:
- Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art;
- The Story Grid method developed by Shawn Coyne; and
- Robert McKee’s seminal book Story and his influential three-day Story Seminar.
If you’re not familiar with any of these three books, stop right now and buy them – in paper, so you can mark them up and refer to them again and again.
Pressfield, Coyne, and McKee are a trifecta of wise men: novelist, editor, and screenwriter, and they have helped me turn a lifelong writing hobby into story manuscripts that turn on essential shared human experience, even in a fantasy setting. As of this posting, I have a novel in editing, the first book of a proposed fantasy quartet, and another in the chute.
So in a very real sense, “Rags to Written” is a personal declaration.
As for my tagline, I believe with all my heart and soul that good writers are indeed made and not born. It is the underlying concept, the very engine that moves a writer from rags to written. It is dedication to craft, the willingness to work hard to achieve your goals. No matter what level of writer you are right now, you CAN improve if you put in the work.
For me, those words are much more than a snappy title and tagline. They are the way I share my passion with the world.