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flippancy/['flipənsi]/ a. 轻率, 无礼, 轻率的举动(或言语)...

我不懂写作 Write Right

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When I was fifteen, I announced to my English class that I was going to write and illustrate my own books. Half the students sneered, the rest nearly fell out of their chairs laughing. "Don't be silly, only geniuses can become writers," the English teacher said smugly, "And you are getting a D this semester." I was so humiliated I burst into tears.

That night I wrote a short sad poem about broken dreams and mailed it to the Capri's Weekly newspaper. To my astonishment, they published it and sent me two dollars. I was a published and paid writer. I showed my teacher and fellow students. They laughed. "Just plain dumb luck," the teacher said. I tasted success. I'd sold the first thing I'd ever written. That was more than any of them had done and if it was just dumb luck, that was fine with me.

During the next two years I sold dozens of poems, letters, jokes and recipes. By the time I graduated from high school, with a C minus average, I had scrapbooks filled with my published work. I never mentioned my writing to my teachers, friends or my family again. They were dream killers and if people must choose between their friends and their dreams, they must always choose their dreams.

I had four children at the time, and the oldest was only four. While the children napped, I typed on my ancient typewriter. I wrote what I felt. It took nine months, just like a baby. I chose a publisher at random and put the manuscript in an empty Pampers diapers package, the only box I could find. I'd never heard of manuscript boxes. The letter I enclosed read, "I wrote this book myself, I hope you like it. I also do the illustrations. Chapter six and twelve are my favourites. Thank you." I tied a string around the diaper box and mailed it without a self addressed stamped envelope and without making a copy of the manuscript.

A month later I received a contract, an advance on royalties, and a request to start working on another book. Crying Wind, the title of my book, became a best seller, was translated into fifteen languages and Braille and sold worldwide. I appeared on TV talk shows during the day and changed diapers at night. I traveled from New York to California and Canada on promotional tours. My first book also became required reading in native American schools in Canada.

The worst year I ever had as a writer I earned two dollars. I was fifteen, remember? In my best year I earned 36,000 dollars. Most years I earned between five thousand and ten thousand. No, it isn't enough to live on, but it's still more than I'd make working part time and it's five thousand to ten thousand more than I'd make if I didn't write at all. People ask what college I attended, what degrees I had and what qualifications I have to be a writer. The answer is: "None." I just write. I'm not a genius. I'm not gifted and I don't write right. I'm lazy, undisciplined, and spend more time with my children and friends than I do writing. I didn't own a thesaurus until four years ago and I use a small Webster's dictionary that I'd bought at K-Mart for 89 cents. I use an electric typewriter that I paid a hundred and twenty nine dollars for six years ago. I've never used a word processor. I do all the cooking, cleaning and laundry for a family of six and fit my writing in a few minutes here and there. I write everything in longhand on yellow tablets while sitting on the sofa with my four kids eating pizza and watching TV. When the book is finished, I type it and mail it to the publisher. I've written eight books. Four have been published and three are still out with the publishers. One stinks. To all those who dream of writing, I'm shouting at you: "Yes, you can. Yes, you can. Don't listen to them." I don't write right but I've beaten the odds. Writing is easy, it's fun and anyone can do it. Of course, a little dumb luck doesn't hurt.

  十五岁的时候,我对班上同学宣布说准备写书,并自己画插图。一半的学生开始窃笑,其余的则几乎从椅子上笑得跌到地上。"别傻了,只有天才才能成为作家,"英文老师自以为是地说道,"而你这个学期只有可能得D。"我羞愧得大哭起来。

  那天晚上,我写了一首关于梦想破灭的伤心短诗,并将它寄给了《卡普里周报》。出乎意料的是,他们发表了这首小诗并给我寄来了两美元。我是作家了,我的作品发表了并因此而得到了报酬。我拿给老师和同学看,他们都笑我。"瞎猫逮着死耗子,"老师说道。我尝到了成功的甜头。我的第一篇作品就卖出去了。这比他们任何人做的都强,如果这是瞎猫逮着死耗子,那么我不在乎。

  在接下来的两年里,我卖掉了几十首诗歌、书信、笑话和食谱。中学毕业时,我的平均成绩是C+,但我的剪贴簿里已经贴满了我发表的作品。我再也没有将自己的写作情况告诉老师、同学或家人。他们都是无情的摧梦者。如果有人要从朋友和梦想之间作出选择,他们总该选择后者。

  现时我有四个孩子,最大的只有四岁。孩子们进入梦乡时,我就在那台老掉牙的打字机前打字,我写下自己的感受,这花了我九个月的时间,就像十月怀胎。我随意选择了一家出版社,将手稿用空的"帮宝适"尿布的盒子包起来--这是我唯一能找到的盒子了。我从来没听说过手稿箱。在附信中我写道:"这本书是我自己写的,希望你喜欢。插图也是我自己画的。我本人最喜欢第六章和第十二章。谢谢。"我用绳子捆好尿布箱,然后寄了出去,甚至没有在信封上加盖自己的地址,也没有留下一份手稿的复印件。

  一个月后,我收到一份合同、一份预付款,以及另一本书的约稿。我的书《哭泣的风》成了最畅销的书,并被译成15国文字和盲文,销往世界各地。白天我出现在电视上的访谈节目中,晚上则回家换尿片。为了去领各种奖项,我从纽约来到加利福尼亚、加拿大。我的第一本书被列为加拿大本土美语学校的必读课程。

  自从成了作家以来,我挣得最少的一年只有两美元。那时我十五岁,还记得吗?而最多的一年我可以挣三万六千美元。多数时候我挣的钱在五千到一万之间。不,这当然不够维持生计,但总比我兼职所能赚的多,而且比我如果不写作要多赚了五千到一万美元。人们问我曾上过什么大学,曾得过什么学位,曾获过什么资格证书才可以成为作家。答案是:"什么也不需要。"我只是写。我不是天才。我并没有写作天分也不懂写作。我懒惰、没有经过正式训练,与孩子和朋友相处的时间要多过写作的时间。直到四年前我才有了一本词典。我使用的是用89美分在K市场里买来的一本韦氏小词典。我从来不使用单词处理程序。我包揽了家里六个人所有的烹调、清洁和洗涤的活儿,这里写几分钟,那里写几分钟。所有的东西我都是坐在沙发上速记在黄色的笔记簿上,四个孩子在一边吃比萨饼一边看电视。书写完了,我就打出来然后寄到出版社。我写了八本书。四本已出版,三本在出版社,还有一本写砸了。对于那些梦想写作的人,我想大喊一声:"行的,你一定能行,不要听信别人。"我不懂写作,可是我战胜了不可能。写作很容易,十分有趣,每个人都做得来。当然,哪怕是瞎猫逮着死耗子也无关紧要。

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