Guest Blogger: Kenneth Weene – Why Bother Writing?


Why bother? Isn’t it easier to not write, not get frustrated with all those rejection letters, the people who think you should have changed this character or that outcome? Then there’s the P.R., the endless battle to get your book noticed.

You can obsess about your standing on Amazon, not realizing that just one order may swing your title fifty places on that list. You can contact blogger after blogger: “Please give my book some space.”

Finally, the big moment – the royalty check for the quarter arrives. Trepidatiously you open it. There it is, enough to take your sweetheart out for bangers and mashed or maybe fish and chips. You remind yourself that getting rich was never the reason in the first place. Of course, deep in your heart you’re damning the gods because you haven’t received a film offer, one you so richly deserve and that would actually put some money in your pocket.

So, I ask again, why bother? Why write? Maybe you should give up. You could find a different obsession, something that would also take up hours of your time. You could learn to play a musical instrument. You could work on your yoga. You could …

Forget it. You have to get back to that new short story, the one about the narrators ex-wife’s second ex-husband’s affair with the girl who turned out to be an agent of the Mossad who is following a Hamas-linked Imam, who it turns out …

Well, maybe you’ll put that plot on hold and find something a bit more believable.

Computer time.

First you do your email. There might be an opportunity to do some more marketing of the book you already have out. Maybe there’ll be an acceptance for those poems you sent out. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Lots of spam. Your nephew wonders how your writing is going. A couple of Facebook friends have posted to your wall. You work through the emails. It’s easier than actually coming up with something, so you even send out a couple of hellos. Then you have to go on Facebook, right? An hour passes reading posts, making comments, watching Youtube clips that have been shared.

Now more mail has come in. Check it out. And, repeat.

Wasted morning. Why do I bother? goes through your mind like a neon sign.

You imagine a kid, a teenager, gawking up at that neon sign. He’s in a big city, obviously new there. Hasn’t got a clue.

Why’s he there? A runaway? No, too trite. Long pause – long enough so the computer screen has gone dark. That doesn’t matter, you’re looking out the window, and all you can see is that scene in your imagination.

Suddenly it hits you. This kid, this cornpone, country kid has come to the big city because he’s going to the conservatory. Yeah, he’s a musician, not just a musician, but a gifted … a gifted what, flutist? (Nah, too feminine for a story.) guitarist? (trite) pianist (That would do, but do I know enough about piano? Piano player stories have to be technically correct.) Trumpet, no, no, saxophone.That’s it he’s a gifted sax player come to the conservatory. He’s got a girl back home, one he really cares about, or at least he thinks he does. And, he’s really missing her right now. He’s overwhelmed, confused, feeling lost. He wishes she were here with him.

What is he looking at? A phone ad. Yeah, he’s missing her and thinking about that phone ad.

Is he already accepted at the conservatory? No. He’s here for the audition. Got his sax right in his hand. So he can screw it up if he …

Yeah, that’s the conflict. How to heighten …? Somebody playing on the street. The downside, right in front of him. Make it a trumpet player.

That’s it, the beginning.

You hit a key. The computer screen comes back. Get out of email. Word. Blank document. Set margins. Set spacing. A moment. Do you want courier or times new roman? Then it begins. You begin. Words start to jet from your fingers onto the screen. You are no longer confused, no longer unsure. You are writing. You are a writer. It is what you do. That is the why, the only one that matters. You bother because it is you.

Widow’s Walk by Kenneth Weene tells the story of Mary Flanagan and her search for meaning, life, and love. It is also the story of her Irish roots and her immigration to America, her marriage, her husband’s life and death, and the lives of her two children. And it is the story of her relationship with Arnie Berger, a man who is totally different in background, religion, and approach to life. Theirs is a deep and meaningful love that gladdens the heart. If only things could always flow along with such ease. But they do not, and Widow’s Walk becomes a powerful tale of human pain and emotional conflict.

Words of Praise for Widow’s Walk

“Here is a story whose breadth of vision is exceeded only by the depth of its characters.” (Jon Tuttle, author, The Trustus Plays)

“This story includes the passions of everyday life that will touch you in a special way.” (Abe F. March, author, To Beirut and Back, They Plotted Revenge Against America, and Journey Into The Past)

“Written in the present tense, Widow’s Walk achieves the difficult balance of urgency and character-driven action possible with this technique. With deft humor and unexpected turns, universal dilemmas and unique perspectives, I believe Widow’s Walk captures all the elements of great fiction.” (Jen Knox, author, Musical Chairs

To learn more about Widow’s Walk or to order visit the video at: