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About the Writer:

Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in 175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN Forum. View his web site at Audioworld.

A Piece of My Mind
Bennet Pomerantz
"Everything you do, everything you experience, everything you think, affects who you are. You have an incredible amount of input into the creation of yourself." -Anon.

This column is a stream of thought column. Please just excuse me if some ideas are disjointed.

Being a writer is a similar fate to being an actor. If you have a column or a contract for a series of books, it's like a weekly TV show . . . a steady gig that you know you have. You feel job security. However when you freelance, there is no steady income . . . no safety net . . . you go from article to article. Just like an actor who doesn't have a TV show goes from guest shot to guest shot. Once you learn that fact in life, you can understand being a writer.

Magazines and Newspapers usually have a slot of two to fill, with a gaggle of people clamoring to fill the positions. Just like the actor, your previous work (your tear sheets) is an example of your career prior to any interview. Then the interview, just like a screen test . . . and if you are one of the lucky ones--you get the job!

For the last 17 years, I have had a few long running columns to help my career and my bank account. I have had fluctuations in my writer's life, as everyone has. Once someone introduced me for a panel as "A Writer and Communist" Boy, did I see RED! (I know it was a BADDDD pun!). But , on the whole, Life as a writer has been good for me. So, if I may in future columns, I will try to impart some of my tales of a writer's life with my warped sense of wit. Some of my yarns may intrigue you . . . some may teach you lessons . . . and in some you may actually learn a few tricks of the trade.
I just hope you will have a good time.

Once you are pigeon holed in a position or writing career (mine is as a media critic), you are stuck like a car in mud. Over the years, I have learned to spread myself into different areas of writing such as poetry, fiction, fan fiction, and grants writing while keeping my main stay, media reviews. In rejection letters for short stories I write, I still get the comment "You're that media critic guy, I didn't know you can write fiction." However my favorite of all the put-downs in my career was from a well -known, Hugo award winning writer who said, and I quote, "You're just a critic, what do you know about writing?" She did this on a major writers' panel in front of an audience of 30 guests at a Science Fiction convention. A lovely woman, may she rot in H -E-Double Hockey Sticks!

And of course, there is that dreaded anticipation, the "waiting for the mail box blues." Waiting for answers to querries, letters, and review material, not to mention the infamous "Check is in the Mail." You really get to know the postal person very well. I will address what to do while waiting for the mail in a future column.

In future columns, I will orate (its better than the word address) about such items as

  • "What do you get ideas from?"
  • " What is a query letter anyway?"
  • and the famous "When can I call myself a writer?"

While this is my stream of thought column is also your column, I love ideas.  My e-mail address is unpublished right now.

Drop me a line and ask your burning writing questions (sounds like a soap opera-AS THE WRITER TURNS) and lets see if I can help you answer them. Well til next we meet, keep your head level and reach for the stars!

This article is the sole property of the author. It is produced here with the author's permission.  The unauthorized use or reprinting of an article is illegal, and will be prosecuted at the discretion of the author.