Erskine Cadwell : Call it Experience, The Years of Learning How to Write

Posted: July 26, 2007 in American Author, American Literature, Erskine Cadwell, How Author Writes

I am

If my time should come
I’d like no one to entice me
Not even you

No need for those sobs and cries

I am but a wild animal
Cut from its kind

Though bullets should pierce my skin
I shall still strike and march forth

Wounds and poison shall I take aflee. Aflee
‘Til the pain and pang should disappear

And I should care even less

I want to live
for another thousand years


Perhaps the poem of Chairil Anwar so that was enough to be able to explain the Erskine Cadwell attitude when deciding to leave his journalism career in The Atlanta Journal in order to become the writer of professional fiction.

Like that was obtained after reading the poem “The Binatang Jalang”, the impression that emerged from the Erskine attitude, he was personal that was arrogant and did not know the compromise.

Both Chairil and Erskine apparently did not want to come to terms with the situation, conversely they will even conquer him. Just clear the Erskine decision made concerned several of his workmates.

Hunter Bell, the editor in The Atlanta Journal, the Erskine place began to pursue his professional journalism career, advised him in order to cancel his intention.
Hunter gave the picture of a gloomy future for them who were not successful in the life that hoped could live, ate, and went before the earth without having the work continue to.

Hunter hoped Erskine will change thoughts. However Skinny—begitu he is normally greeted by his workmate — has completed the determination. Keinginnannya to involve himself totally in the world of the creative writing could not look for his match. And currently the desire must be distributed, he must be immediately settled, whether anything his situation.

In fact the decision nekad Erskine was triggered by Peggy Mitchel, a woman with the interesting personality and had the pretty face according to the Erskine measurement, that was willing to leave his journalism career after working for ten years in The Atlanta Journal. Although Peggy succeeded in publishing his book of Gone With The Wind. Erskine admired her because of the belief himself to release the work in order to write a book. He asked himself, could I at one time make the same decision?

Then that day, after he accepted the banquet from Fred Houser, the manager The Atlanta Convention and Tourist Bureau, on his coverage that was satisfactory, he stressed his decision to become the writer of professional fiction.

It was final that his week left Atlanta towards the Maine Country, a place that far from city civilisation. Rural areas with hills that undulated by heterogenous shady trees, the luxuriant meadow fenced small rivers was complicated, to his new dwelling. He thought this place really be suitable wrote.

The hot season immediately ended, he began to gather wood for the fireplace in the cold season.
He mananam the potato in the field to in ate. During the day he finished in the field and gathered wood, at night he wrote, the rest of them to rest. Mathematically, 24 hours in his day finished 8 hours to work, 8 hours to write, and the rest of them 8 hours to rest.

Dozens of short stories has he wrote with the worn out typewriter that he bought from results of blackmailing his sweat to the manual labourer in the factory of oil of the cotton seed when himself was still sitting in the bench was on a level with SMU. Ia worked tonight, departing when the person in the house from fall asleep and re-with settled-bent the step foot him so that the person in the house wakes up and thinks he fell asleep twisted for a night. For a moment afterwards he hurried to depart for the school.

In fact the production of his father as the priest in the church near his residence has sufficed.
However because his wish to work, made him want to work any. When his school carried out any work, sold the newspaper, to the typist, wrote the news didaerah him for several newspapers. Apparently the interest in writing him without being realised began to grow.

When going to class in the Virginian University he continued the interest wrote him by becoming the contributor for several newspapers. He began to send his short stories to several newspapers. However not any was contained.

He has been happy to be enough one or two that gave the explanation of the refusal reason.
This activity continued to be carried out, to send the short story, and to find the refusal letter.
Secretly gazed at the heap of the refusal letter and read him to the enjoyment that could not he explained.

An editor suggested that he imitated the method writing the writers who were popular. An other editor suggested so that he menekuni the other work field remembered the newspaper business that was uncertain resulting from the crisis that was striking America, so as the opportunity of writing the short story was increasingly narrow. The comments were read by him, was taken as necessary so that he is not offended was made by him.

With his money supplies that began to diminish he still needed bought the stamp to mengeposkan the letter, bought several rods of cigarettes, coffee and sugar for the friend typed him in the day nights. He was determined to sell his books that were gathered from results to pereview the book in The Atlanta Journal.

His book collection reached hundreds, and most were the novel and the short story collection.
He went to the city, visited the place of the sale of the second-hand book through to finally met the acquaintance that offered him to undertake the book business. With his friend he opened the book kiosk.

His collection books and several additional books were from the publisher’s agency organised in the shelf. However this book business not produced but even made him increasingly was coiled around by the debt. He has run out of the mind how to get money. It was clear that he only wanted to become the writer, not did business the book.

He promised to himself, the work anything, outside wrote, was carried out only for the time being and only for the surviving aim, had the residence, and berpakian appropriate. An old friend asked him to a place, that afterwards he knew the place that dituju that was the bank.
The official of the bank asked about the guarantee what could be given by Erskine, when he could return the loan. Erskine did not have the quite valuable guarantee, except an old car and the obsolete typewriter.

His friend convinced the official of his acquaintance’s bank that Erskine was an aspiring writer.
He serious wanted to become the writer, and in the future his book will be published.
The official of the bank that claimed in fact also wanted to become the writer nodded and immediately told his staff to dilute the loan as big as $1000.

Erskine has definitely counted on his decision to leave the work in order to become the writer of professional fiction.

The temptation always will haunt for anyone who took the decision like himself, who will make the activity wrote as destiny, now results wrote as the livelihood never was fulfilled.
Bounced was as strong as the steel, could not be bargained, must be prepared in order to be able to undergo periods that most were difficult, really where not the adequate financial guarantee.
If not, he will be tempted to shift his attention to the work that for most people was more rational, the work that more could produce money. And the wish became the writer of professional fiction to the dream that was more appropriate to be laughed at.

Indeed Erskine could in the long run reap results of his exertion. Slowly his short story began to be contained in the small newspaper, until penetrating Scribner’s Magazine, a wish that has been looked forward to by him menaklukan the media that had the distribution of the area.
His short story collection that was given by the American Earth title was entered in a book.
Not long afterwards followed his first novel of Tobaco Road, that terinspirasi from a life in the slum near his residence, a road that was made by rolling the drum that was filled up tobacco that was preserved.

For the first time, he received bond royalty from the publication of the book.
As far as the God’s Littele Acre novel that according to him was most satisfactory, you Have Seen Their Faces, and his novel Tobaco Road that was staged more than seven years, results royalty that acceptance could not be counted was enough to make him become a person who was freest from the problem of finance.

The production from him at that time only enough to satisfy the requirement for the requirement his days, in fact still not all that for the style of his life that kept moving from one place to the other place. He indeed be fond of very much visited new places, explored all the American continent region, even the world.

His financial condition just it was said more improved after he became the writer of the scenario for the film in MGM, that employed him $3000 per the week, the highest production that once in received for the length of his life.

How many production numbers that were obtained by him from writing fiction, at least he has brought about his wish to publish his work in the newspaper, the short story collection and his novels has been entered in a book.

For his production from writing fiction still could not to satisfy all the requirement for his life, then consciously he will then carry out the other work in order to bring about his ambition.
Currently his work produces results. His name disandingkan with John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, and the best American writer that were other.

Scrutinised this Erskine living trip, same like me, perhaps you will put forward the question, why he bersiteguh wanted to become the writer of professional fiction, why did not become the banker, or carried out the other work that more was easy to produce money.

In the book “Menulis adalah Jalan Street Hidupku” that was published by the Publisher Bustan Yogyakarta, was untangled in detail the trip wrote Erskine Cadwell. The book that was written personally by Erskine this in dialihbahasakan from the book of Call it Experience, The Years of Learning How to Write.

He admitted, the Erskine decision became the writer of professional fiction because himself liked wrote, and was not convinced could carry out the other work apart from this field. Therefore, he want to made wrote as his life prop. He regarded what dikerjaka him as the natural matter, because for him all the choices of the work of needing perseverance. Even so with wrote.

Although having a person who will become the writer, but in the middle of the road to find the reason that according to him was more logical to carry out the other work, meant indeed him did not have capital that was enough to become a writer.

In the long run the level of the intensity of the thoughts situation that determined the success or the failure someone in the profession that was wanted by him. Wrote fiction was chosen by him because the short story or the novel was the mirror for people.

He defined the short story or the novel as the imaginary story significant that was interesting enough attention of the reader and was deep enough to leave the eternal impression in his thoughts.

He rejected the view that to become a writer a person must lack previously in order to agree with the world kepenulisan. That was needed was the spirit of perseverance that could encourage the person to fight hard to overcome each obstacle towards the success. He then did not recommend anyone who will become the writer to leave the work especially.

Many works were high-quality that was produced by them who were forced to arry out homework every day or undertook the business in five or four days in a week. When wrote has become the hobby, then who will make use of him. And like other hobbies, wrote could be done without must leave the main work.

His decision left his journalism career not because skills wrote journalism be compatible wrote fiction. On the other hand, wrote journalism precisely that delivered his interest in the world wrote-wrote.

Learned to write with the form anything not there is one that is damaging.
From his experience, wrote journalism helped him to adjust wrote every day.
Waited for the inspiration to be the very rare statement to be encountered in the reporter’s circle that was trained.

You might regarded what was done by Erskine as something that invented stories, something that was abundant actual was easy but was made be difficult by himself.
However for you who at this time have decided himself became the professional writer, both that fiction and non fiction, more or less definitely has passed the periods.
Only his intensity possibly was different.

You could luckier compared with Erskine that followed the career wrote profesioanl him in a bloody manner. If you realised this, then you will be grateful that evidently be one more suffered from you.

I and also you must dared to chose and firm took the action. The profession whether actual was wanted by you. You more loved wrote from your happiness that were other?
If OK, then continued to struggle. Good Luck!


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