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CJ Heck

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Role of a Writer
by CJ Heck
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say,
but what we are unable to say.” ~Anais Nin

The Role of a Writer

To say what others cannot
is truly the mark of greatness.
But have all the noble poems
been written by classical masters
and the gifted poets of today?

Are there meaningful works
still left to pen,
not merely big words
from our swollen egos
spilling their contents
at the whim of a moment,
nor with the simplistic meanderings
of joy, or grief or love?

To answer my own question,
I say write on, dear poets.
Allow not your words
to decay unwritten
in the brilliant minds of today
where they’ll lie barren and unread
only to wither and crack and parch
as clay in the desert.
I do believe there are jewels
left to be written.

But if we must write,
it should be for the future,
for the common man
who will gain most from
these words he cannot write.
We have an obligation
to write in a way
that he may glean what he can
from writings of poetic merit,
not stumble through
obscure words which are,
to him, as bird droppings
on a splintered windowsill,
left to die in obscurity
gathering nothing but dust.

If we must write,
let us write for those who are unable,
so the future might find our words
alive and fertile, their tilled soil
begun as thoughts and feelings
first seeded in keen minds,
then sown into black and white,
rich and green and lush,
to live on in future hearts and minds
even as we crumble, ashes to ashes,
and blow away, dust to dust.

May we always write
not to say what we can all say,
but what we are unable to say
-- not for the now, but for forever.

Barking Spiders Poetry for Children

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Reviewed by Ian Thorpe 6/26/2011
With you 100% on this C J

I fell out with the UK literary estblishment years ago when a critic and professor of literature decided he was going to hassle me about my populist style.
"You don't tell me anything about yourself, your life" he said.
"Surely the point is to tell the audience stories that help them understand things in their lives, after all I'm a stanger so why would they be interested in me?" I replied.

What gave these idiot amateur psychologists the idea that writers are interesting. It is what we write about that should be interesting, not how we live our lives.

Reviewed by Z McClure 6/18/2011
You are writer after my own heart, CJ! A very memorable and quotable poem that shows us what it means to be a writer. I believe there are many more poems that are begging to be written and shared!
May you continue to share many more C.J.

Reviewed by Ron Karcz 6/5/2008
Great piece, CJ. I was just in your neck of the woods about three weeks ago. Pretty country. Write on, dear poet!
Reviewed by Barbara Terry 6/28/2007
CJ this such a true poem. We write to entertain, educate, and learn, in language that is easily understood by everyone. My favorite is the entire second stanza. And yes CJ, there are still meaningful works left to pen. When we write, we write about our lives, life, nature, love, joy, sadness, loneliness, emotions, the world, and much, much more. Our works are written so that even a young child who can read, will understand some of what we write.

You have penned this piece very well CJ. Thank you for sharing.

May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. May the Lord Jesus guide your muse, so that you may create wonderful works for everyone to enjoy. With much love in my heart, joy to the world, peace on earth, & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS)))))))))), sister Barbie.
Reviewed by ~ Holly Harbridge (Reader) 4/9/2007
Dear CJ, I wish to applaud you on this write, and for speaking the truth. Bravo and Amen to you!!!!!

A wellknown Ghostwriter who has written for many gave me coaching with my first book. She said, "Re-write it! The biggest mistake writers make is to write words that are too advanced for the average person to read. No one wants to have to carry around a dictionary with them in order to understand the book. It is a sign of poor self esteem, and lack of understanding of how to write."

Needless to say, I had to re-write the entire book.
I see that you are a wise woman.....they are rare. Too many blind followers CJ.
God Bless you, love Holly
Reviewed by Cynth'ya 2/21/2007
We write. . . ergo. . . .we write, then go.
blessin's (smile)
cynth'ya lewis reed
Reviewed by Rhonda Galizia 2/21/2007

Your work is sharp and exact, as usual. May we write, to leave behind a legacy, unearthing truth, that might otherwise fall to nought.

God bless you, Gifted Writer!
Love&Hugs, Rhonda
Reviewed by Connie Faust 2/20/2007
You've said it well as usual, C.J.
These are lines to challenge every writer. May we be worthy of the gift we have been given.
Reviewed by Robert Blackwell 2/19/2007
This was just the sort of thing to help dispel the depression I was feeling. Thank you.
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 2/6/2007
The role of the writer, CJ Heck, is to bring all writers together to relay a message, whatever that message may be within their own heart and soul.
Sometimes, when I write, I already know that I might only attract a few, whether it be the subject or difficulty interpreting. It seems the difficult ones ones for the reader, are the same ones that were difficult for me to write, but in doing so, not only have I increased my understandings, but now I have created a puzzle for someone interested enough to want to figure out. By adding a few comprehendable emotional words of feeling, I might just spark an interest...but that's me and then I will put a preschool write in there, or a family write...or a funny,etc, I like the variety of life, and well, I figure, most people do get bored with the same ole' same ole...This is an excellent write and I commend your efforts for all help me become a better writer with thoughts provoked! Thank you for sharing this~ ...and God be with us all no matter what we choose.
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by S J (Reader) 2/6/2007
This is powerful, passionate, inspirational, and most impressive, CJ!
You are talented. "The Role of a Writer", Beautifully written!

Thank you
Love, Sheila
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 2/3/2007
i certainly appreciate the work that went into the writing of this piece. there is a lot of wisdom in it. thanks for sharing
Reviewed by Robert Harrison 2/1/2007
And so say all of us. You give me hope that even in old age I still have something to offer, written in my own style. I have enjoyed reading this very sensible write.
Reviewed by Debra Kraft 1/31/2007
Amen, my sister poet! Amen! Perfect!

Reviewed by William Bonilla 1/31/2007
Aman CJ
A awesome write
true to the heart

Love & Peace
Reviewed by Paul Berube 1/31/2007

This is one that is forever my friend. A great reminder of why we write.
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 1/31/2007
Think CJ, the first poet was the one scratching a line on the rocky side of his dwelling trying to say the first word.
Thanks for reminding us we are been here forever.
Reviewed by Flying Fox Ted L Glines 1/30/2007
Nicely penned, CJ. Think of it: two hundred years in the future, a young person will chance upon a poem by CJ Heck (maybe "Thunder Snow"), will read it and say, "Ah..." -- and a whole new way of seeing life will open in that young person's mind. It's an humbling thought. Write on!

Reviewed by Sara Coslett 1/30/2007
Thank you CJ. Your wonderfully composed poem is inspirational. And for anyone like me who wonders, "Do I have any words in me I haven't already written," I now know the answer is, YES! So thank you with all sincerity. ~ Sara
Reviewed by Felix Perry 1/30/2007
This is a great message to all who live to write or write to live, we all struggle from time to time with the question of our values and the quality of our work but if we love what we do then it should not matter.

Reviewed by Susan de Vegter 1/30/2007
“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say,

but what we are unable to say.” ~Anais Nin

In the heart ,the only way to speak for all, is to write. For the rebel without a poem ,what chance is the justice of their soul's battle and for war...the people have a voice.


Reviewed by J M 1/30/2007
Always what we are unable to say this is powerful CJ and poetic.
"for the common man
who will gain most from
these words he cannot write.
We have an obligation
to write in a way"

Reviewed by H. Lena Jones 1/30/2007
Masterfully done, dear CJ. This brilliant piece should not only grace the webpage of Authorsden...alas, it should be for the world to read. Brilliant...does not begin to describe this write, CJ. You have managed to stop us writers long enough for us to consider/reconsider what we write, and how we present what we write. If I have to check the dictionary too often for words I do not recognize, I lose interest in that write. Yes, there is much to be said for simplicity of words for no one knows just who the reader might be, and if there is a message intended for that reader, then of course, they would miss it entirely. Excellent work! I would like to save this to hard drive, if you don't mind.

God Bless
Love always
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 1/30/2007
Outstanding write CJ...wonderful thoughts were put into this write, very uplifting and encouraging for all writers indeed! I can just imagine someone picking up our poetry and reading it long after we've been gone while they imagine who wrote this, wondering about our lives, what inspired the write, and also how that our words may instill happiness, peace, joy and a litte entertainment into their lives...CJ you've penned a write that is very thought provoking for me, my mind is in a whirl as I read this wonderful write! Enjoyed so much!
Joyce Bowling
Reviewed by Brett Moore 1/30/2007
Wow, CJ, you have created much discussion and controversy over this poem. Now, is that the sign of great art or what? I thought it very well articulated and a passionate write. Good job.

Reviewed by Approximately Naive 1/30/2007
Very uplifting and motivating, C.J. As aspiring artists and writers we can be very sensitive punters indeed. Touchiness is endemic of the creative personality. Without validation of our work, or this exhortation from the out of the rich heartbeat of your intuition,C.J, we are inclined to think that our words are meaningless.

Reviewed by Kate Burnside 1/30/2007
Wonderful sentiments and reasoning, CJ, so well-expressed, too. You certainly get to the heart of the matter in that we may write because we "have to", writers being wot we are from the inside out; we may write because we have a burning desire to convey a message. But however we write, whatever we write is to the positive upbuild of someone, somewhere, and, like things that are spiritually discerned poetry/writing has the ability to be appreciated on an emotional or spiritual level in whatever language or dialect it is written, perhaps. I have said as much this evening, even, reviewing Kimmy's lovely poem and mentioning another. It is all about giving feelings words, however expressed. We all read and interpret differently. That being said, the current trend is to have things lean and clean - certainly on this side of the Pond, so that, yes, many might be able to partake of its life-giving nourishment. I enjoy this debate, and thank you for both the encouragement and exhortation. Kate xx
Reviewed by Victor Buhagiar (Reader) 1/30/2007
Great insight on writing. Everyone has his own style. That is good because diversity in writing is important. Victor
Reviewed by George Carroll 1/30/2007
I wasn't surprised that someone would not like your insightful poem. I for one have always enjoyed the poets who spoke with their heart and not their ego's. I have to pass on a poem when my simple mind cannot comprehend it.
Reviewed by Joyce Hale 1/30/2007
I have never thought it has all be written, and there is no more left to write; the same as it has all been discovered and there is no more to find. Words from the heart and souls of those who care, and those who love, and those who suffer, will always be profound to someone. Well said, CJ!

Peace. Joyce
Reviewed by CJ Heck 1/30/2007
Tsk Tsk, seems you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Richard. I don't understand why you would take such offense at what I wrote.

First and foremost, it's not the "who" who determines the meaningfulness of a writer's work. To have any meaning at all, a work must be read. If a work cannot be understood by the 'common man' (the masses, the majority of society), it will never be worth even the paper it's printed on, if it ever gets printed.

"Who" also does not determine what "obscure" words are. It's up to the individual readers to employ what is or is not obscure to them in making sense of a poem, and again, appealing to the masses, (most of which have only a high school education), if a poem is discarded because the meaning is totally obscure to them, the poem will not go forth into tomorrow, let alone the future, now will it?

What determines the mark of 'greatness' in an artist? Oh come on, get real ... it's everything you mentioned, but enviably so much more, and it varies by the work of each individual writer -- yes, I agree, the things that matter are opinions of peers, financial success, a vast audience, a legacy, being understood ... but also, how about work that is understood so well that it is quoted, and discussed so much that it soars through the future merely by word of mouth?

As far as the Creator is concerned, I truly believe He gave writers a precious gift, the one that Anais Nin spoke about when she wrote, "The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say." It's no different than the gift He gave to Tiger Woods to play world class golf. I hope and believe that I am thanking Him most by using that gift in the best way I know how.

In conclusion, I say in the words of a wonderful friend and poet,

"How you react
to what I say and do
is not about me
but all about you ..."

Reviewed by Susan Sonnen 1/30/2007
Amen, CJ.
Reviewed by richard cederberg 1/30/2007
CJ ...

This write is certainly heartfelt and assuredly conveys one writers opinion. In this you have accomplished the premise of your thoughts in writing it. There are, however, certain points that are infinitely debatable, as I'm sure you know.

1. Who determines the meaningfulness of a writers work? Some writers don't bless the reader until they are dead.

2. Who determines what "obscure words" are?

3. Real art never conforms to style or limitations brought on by the opinions of the cynics. It always reflects the here and now and does so in a manner that stretches the boundaries of the mundane and staid.

4. "big words from our swollen egos" This is quite a cynical assumption! Are we to assume because some writers choose different colors that others don't, or that others are unfamiliar with, that they have swollen egos in doing so. Could it be that some writers actually love exploring the potential language offers because so few don't?

5. Being that time is linear, anything we do is constantly moving into the future as we do it, so we are always creating for the future.

6. The future, as well as the present, is filled with many more types and personalities than "the common man". To assume that what we do in the here and now is only for the common man limits artistic vision.

7. What determines the "mark of greatness" in an artist? Is it the opinion of peers, financial success, a vast audience, a legacy, being understood?

I believe what determines greatness is obedience to ones personal vision and whether or not that vision brings glory to the Creator. First and foremost, we should create and write to honor the God that gave the gift to us. "In all things, whether in word or deed, do them as unto the Lord."

Your write is provocative and thought-provoking CJ and represents, I believe, much more about the writer than just the writers opinion. Well done!

Light and Wisdom ...
Richard Lloyd Cederberg
Reviewed by Richard Orey 1/30/2007
Profound insight that we mortals can understand. Brava, CJ!


Reviewed by Rusty Daily 1/30/2007
Are there meaningful works
still left to pen,
not merely big words
from our swollen egos
spilling their contents
at the whim of a moment,
nor with the simplistic meanderings
of joy, or grief or love?

As with this write and of all those of poets like you...all the words are not written, nor can they be as long as imagination is allowed to flourish. This is truly from the heart and soul of a 'writer', you CJ, whose emotions flow so freely on the page.
Excellent reminder to us all.
Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader) 1/30/2007
If you have the brains, use them...
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/30/2007

We write because we have to. It is part of us. And have all the great works been written? Thank God, for you, for me, NO! But this is pretty damn close!!!!!! You've inspired ME; thank you!!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Guy Hogan 1/30/2007
Yes, you're right and you put it beautifully.
Reviewed by Lynn Barry 1/30/2007
Just when you think there is nothing new under the sun, you read a poem like this. Thanks!
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 1/30/2007
"The Role of the Writer" is a deeply thoughtful poem. To put pen to paper and say what a reader feels, but are unable to express, is indeed a mark of greatness for any writer.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 1/30/2007
This poem is a gem - for now - and for forever.
Reviewed by Michael Mathieu 1/30/2007
Spectacular write!A tribute to all writers CJ.
Loved it,
God Bless,

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