In the Air Force I began to appreciate writing. My work involved a certain amount of very descriptive analysis, and that aspect of storytelling in my job intrigued me. I wanted to do it well and became very good at it.
My college career involved much writing, as I had double majors in History and Political Science. Both involved much reading and much writing. The more one reads, the more one has the tools to write. Words and phrases come more easily. I developed a feel for when a paragraph should begin and when it should end.
Using the trusty old electric typewriter I inherited from my recently departed Dad, I began typing papers and wrote one after another, as the words came to me quickly and with little effort. My good college grades reflected my success writing and my professors' pleasure in reading my well-written work.
Then it was off to law school and three years with enough writing to choke a horse. Every thought had to be documented with a case which stood for some legal proposition. Every nuance, every turn in the law had to be identified and described. Each exam lasted several hours, and each was answered in laboriously written essays. Each fact had to be presented accurately, and footnoted.
By the time I graduated from law school and became a lawyer, I had become a good writer. Writing in law is often the art of persuasion. If it isn't logical, if there are holes in the argument, the writing fails. This means writing and rewriting over and over until the final product says exactly what one wishes to say. I took pride in my writing. It was my own style. Others strove to achieve pedagogy. I aimed for successful persuasion. You can't win if you don't convince them you should win.
After over a decade of writing legal papers - pleadings, motions, analyses, arguments, briefs - I found myself approaching forty and thinking about writing for other purposes, mainly for entertainment. I had always shied away from poetry because I never quite had a handle on poetry. I decided to take poetry head on, at age forty.
In the space of a year or two, I wrote and completed several dozen poems which I considered of publication quality. I submitted a few of them and got them published. By newspapers. By magazines. It was gratifying to see my work published for a large audience.
Next week, Part II of Who'd Have Thunk It?
Copyright 2017, Jim "Pappy" Moore, all rights reserved.>