How Many Nights

How Many Nights

     I was going to try and make this one of those cute little poems I toss out from time to time, the ones where I make some point that is only important to me and, hopefully, to anyone who knows what it’s like to write. Instead, I will just ask the question.

How much time do you devote to your craft? How much of the only thing in life you can’t get more of are you willing to spend on writing? Ten minutes a day? An hour? Six or twelve hours? How much?

Do you wake with the desire to make the perfect story, be it prose, poetry or song? Or maybe the perfect joke? It’s all writing. Everything I’ve just said is writing. How much of your time are willing to spend to make the story perfect? To make the reader understand exactly what you are trying to tell them?

God made you a writer. You can remember the exact moment you knew that was going to be the thing that dominated the rest of your life. It is your gift. Your curse. How much of your time do you spend on it?

We are writers. We are the only ones in the world who can hear someone utter the words.

I would do this for free.

Because, of course, all most all of us are doing this for free.

It’s a calling.

It’s a gift.

It’s a curse.

And we love it.






About timkeen40

When I was seven, I opened one of those little Golden Books (Lassie) and started copying the words down on paper and it set my soul on fire. I have been writing ever since. I don't know where this is going but I invite you along on the journey.
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5 Responses to How Many Nights

  1. I don’t know how much time I devote to my writing- but I do know when I sit down I’ll start typing and it’ll flow…or so I think. So I lay it aside and come back to it another day and make revisions.

  2. prenin says:

    I wrote two books Tim, but will not write any more.


    When I was 15 or 16 I write my first book.

    My mother’s friend, a published author herself, read the first chapter of the manuscript and immediately offered to get it published.

    But my child abusing father saw this as an affront, so he took it and me into the garden where he had built a garbage incinerator and made me burn it a page at a time to impress on me how crap it was (he hadn’t actually READ it of course), then destroyed my typewriter.

    When I eventually escaped I was walking wounded, full of scars both physical and mental, but I got a PC, a printer and started to learn how to use it.

    I’d been a programmer, but was out of work and horribly damaged because I’d had the neighbour from Hell, but that’s a story in itself.

    After my third PC I began writing again for fun and wrote my second book: “Songs of Angels”, but the publisher rejected it.

    Then about 20 years ago Red offered to help me edit it and had me split it into two: “Jabberweik Hunt” (not my choice and the cover was truly awful) and “Songs of Angels”.

    I ordered paperback copies for friends and Family (I dedicated ‘Jabberweil Hunt’ to Emily and ‘Songs of Angels to my God daughter Becky – siblings I’d looked after from birth), then forgot about it.


    My dad, in his divorce deposition, claimed that, as I was mentally subnormal, he couldn’t give my mum a large settlement as he’d need to look after me for some time.

    I have a rated IQ of 162, wrote commercial software etc.

    You have no idea the level of hatred in that person.

    Enough to know he left me unable to father children until a crazy two weeks with Hanne Damgaard in Denmark (The pain when the damage corrected itself was unbelievable) and surgery when I was 30.

    Unfortunately I had one shot at being a father, but the woman who begged me to be the father of her child was just interested in charging me for a fake abortion… :/

    He is now dead, but his last letter to me was described by my psychiatrist (A long story involving the neighbour from hell) as being: “Full of sexualised, inappropriate language and death threats”.

    I still smile though at the thought that, despite all the damaged he did to me, physical (Quite a catalog) and mental, I was still able to get the books published in one Gigantic ‘Fuck You’ which he took VERY personally. 🙂

    I may die childless and alone, but happy!!! 🙂 ❤


  3. Just Joan says:

    A few years ago, I read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. She recommends writing three longhand pages of whatever comes to mind every morning. Kind of a brain dump, to get worries and cares and bad stories out of your system so your creativity can flow better. Some days that’s the only writing I do. Sometimes my morning pages turn into a poem or provide a theme for one. My writing goals are weird and varied, but I’ve met most of them–I’ve had one of my poems read on the radio, done live readings, won first prize in a food poetry contest, wrote a piece that made the final round of judging in a humor contest, had two shorts accepted for the Reader’s Write column in The Sun (my favorite magazine), and taught a beginner poetry seminar at our public library. Right now, I’m querying publishers for a chapbook of parodies. And I’ve posted a poem on my WP blog every Sunday for 3+ years. I will never get rich writing poetry, but money has never been on my list of reasons for doing it. 🙂

    • timkeen40 says:

      I used to listen to athletes and others say things like, “I’d do this for free.” I thought it was ludicrous at the time, but I look back on the decades of pen or pencil in hand or the hours I’ve sat behind a keyboard of some kind or another and I realize, when all is taken into account, I have been doing this for free. Even though I have earned some money, I have been paying to write for my entire life.
      And I will keep doing so for as long as I am able.
      I wish you all the success in the world.


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