Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thinking About Ernest Hemingway and Being A Writer

Ernest Hemingway's Home in Cuba


This morning's Kansas City Star had a fascinating article on the op-ed page by David Brooks. He wrote about Ernest Hemingway after having visited the Hemingway home in Cuba. The famed author lived in several places around the globe and he fought numerous demons along his writing path. I found the article of great interest, both as a writer and as one who has admired Hemingway's writing for many years. He also interests me because I went to the same high school as he did, although later years. 

If you'd like to read the article, find it here.  If you would like to see numerous pictures of the inside and outside of the house in Cuba, find it here.  Take note of the many, many books in the various rooms. Writers are urged to be readers and it seems there is no doubt that Ernest Hemingway heeded that advice. 

Sometimes we think of writers as meeting life with nothing to be concerned about except the words they put on paper or screen, how many words they write, where to find inspiration, finding a publisher and more. If you read the David Brooks article, you'll see clearly that writers have many other things in life to contend with. Perhaps those wide experiences give us things to write about.

It's the same with you and me. Writing is a major part of our lives but there is more. So much more. We have families--whether we are in the stage of raising children or being grandparents. We have homes to take care of, community functions to attend and perhaps volunteer for, health concerns to deal with on occasion. Maintaining our home, if we own it, or calling a landlord to maintain things if we rent. We have social lives, too. We have personal demons of one kind or another that interfere with our writing world. Hemingway's drinking had to be a detriment to his writing world. 

My point is that we are not just writers. We are people and writing is a part of who we are. It's up to us to decide how great a part our writing will take in our overall life. I know that there are times in my life when I write more than at others. A lot depends on what else is going on at the time. 

David Brooks brings out the point that Hemingway was not always a nice man. Even so, it had no bearing on the brilliant books he left to us. But hey, let's try to be good human beings along with our good writing. 

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