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Gently Used: About

Gently Used: About

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Published by Brad King
This short narrative explains the genesis of The Invictus Writers, and the mission we set upon each year.
This short narrative explains the genesis of The Invictus Writers, and the mission we set upon each year.

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Published by: Brad King on Nov 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/30/2013

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I
n 2010, I gathered a group o young writers together, Te InvictusWriters as I dubbed them, and each set out to answer this question:Am I a writer?Tis is the problem with so many writers. Tere is much talk aboutwriting but little actual writing. What writing is done is oentimes lit-tered with rivolous, narcissistic ramblings that both reuse to delve intothe depths o the writer and oer up attempts as understanding humannature. Te curse o the young writer (and maybe o youth) is a lack o depth masquerading as an understanding o lie experience.Te wise, writer or not, understand this simple idea: Lie is small andull o details. Te events o the moment reveal larger truths. But thatdoesn’t happen through exposition. Tat happens through an under-standing o the moment in a context. Writing isn’t about universal truths.Writing is about individual moments. Finding those places is dicult, andit can’t be done in one night.Being a writer means writing every day. It means searching inside youor stories, or empathy, or understanding, or emotion. It means placingyoursel in your characters’ lives and understanding who they are and why they are. Writing is about being human. And you can’t do that part time.Tat endeavor is not easy. o write means to dig through the emotionalwell o your lie and piece it together in words on a page or strangers toread. Tat’s why so many people stare blankly at the empty page. Deepinside them, they know to fll that with words requires a great deal o pain.I aectionately reer to that particular demon as Te Fear.But Te Fear comes in many parts. Long past is the frst moment whenTe Fear o the words betraying them has aded and the fnal momentwhen Te Fear that they didn’t tell the story in the way they’d hoped
About
 
washed away. What remains, as you fnish this book, is Te Fear that they won’t have another story within them.You are not a writer until you have aced all o that. I say ace because awriter will never conquer it. Like death, Te Fear looms in ront o every story. Te Invictus Writers don’t know this particular truth yet, but they will soon.Te journey or this year’s group has been quite dierent than that frstgroup in 2010. While our participant numbers have grown, the number o those who have completed the journey remains near the same. By empiri-cal measures, Te Invictus Writers project would seem to be a ailure. TeFear would seem to be our conqueror. Fortunately we do not measure the value o writers and writing based on numbers.Te Invictus Writers’ success isn’t measured by the destination; instead,we gauge each other by examining the process by which each chased downTe Fear. Tat some reached the end suggests only that their frst big jour-ney is completed, not that they have arrived at an answer to that questionthe group posed in 2010. Tat some ailed to fnish suggests only that theirfrst big journey took a detour, not that they will never know the answer.Answers and destinations are not part o Te Invictus Writers project.As such, I’ve never been able to answer that frst question that so many young writers long to know. What I can do, and what we have done withour project, is set about going on a journey together so that each o us canfnd that answer.BRAD KING

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