By: José W. Cruz Pagán
Francisco Garcia-Moreno really saw it coming when his school teacher picked up his paper. The teacher gazed for a moment at the story Francisco wrote and with a furious stare said, “this is rubbish, how could you write about a Christmas on the Congo; on such a warm place instead of the North Pole?”. With a sense of revolt, Garcia decided he would always write about warm Christmases on the Congo.
Writing has always been Francisco’s way to link the reader to the story and express himself. Who are writers? They are people who take an idea (say, inspirations) and expound it in writing so that it could be published in a book or magazine. Becoming a writer requires certain skills and practice.
There are different kinds of writers, the ones who do it occasionally, and those whose work is solely to write. According to the Department of Labor and Human Resources, the number of employed writers in Puerto Rico for the year 2005 was about 470. This number can be divided into writers, editors and authors.
Even though it is a scarce number, it is still a passionate side-work for many, like Francisco Garcia Moreno, writer and professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. He provided some tips and information about how to become a successful writer. In addition, he discussed his experiences as a formidable writer. It is a big journey writers take when they choose lettering as their job because of the large effort and charisma it takes.
First of all, he explained that as a writer, one must have certain talents. “Looking at things, view them from an new perspective; be original, break any guidelines, and lastly, be able to attract without losing any ‘technical quality’,” Garcia-Moreno said. Remember that these works is what will attain readers.
Furthermore, he explained that becoming a writer also has difficult moments where motivation might help. These motivations change from time to time. He related that his motivation was to impress the girl he liked; second, to achieve being an important writer; and finally, it has been to express himself and somehow enjoy writing. As writers must have motivations throughout their carrier.
Every writer must earn credibility because they are unknown to the world. “It is difficult to publish and have people believe you” Francisco said acknowledging some of the obstacles novice writers face. Writers must build their own path and for this it, is important to be known. Winning literary prices, as Francisco did, will be of a big aid when finally publishing.
Dr. Garcia-Moreno goes on to explain that although writers do not need any education, having one might help. Some of the writers might work as teachers or professors where they need a B.A. or M.A. usually in languages. As for Professor Garcia-Moreno, he decided to do a PhD in Contemporary Spanish Literature which he enjoys and it is related to his job as a writer.
Now, it would help to put some of these tips Garcia-Moreno gave into practice in order to succeed as a writer. He emphasized “Practice and repetition”. To constantly practice, and doing it over and over again are key to becoming a good writer. The most essential method he uses are criticizing and challenging his work and the most basic (thus important) is to read, try to copy the techniques and of course, develop one.
Professors of the Department of Hispanic Studies of the University of Puerto Rico gathered to read their own creations Oct. 18, 2011. At the activity titled “The Art of Narrating, Reading Stories and Gathering”, professors gathered to read their stories to the audience. Among the professors that read their stories out loud were: Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno, Dr. Miriam Gonzales and Dr. Ivone Recinos.
Dr. Garcia-Moreno read one of his narrative essays “La Sombra del Diablo” (The devil’s shadow). He is the writer of the book “El Mercader de Libros” and a soon-to-be-published, young adult novel. He is still very rigorous with his writing (hence of his teacher’s criticism?) and looks further to make his readers enjoy his pieces; He equally enjoys offering valuable insight into the true nature of the characters in his works.