Waldo Jaquith attended the Workshop in songwriting in 1995.
Charlottesville—I never left.
I am a Fellow with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has funded my development of a standard web-based platform for displaying state laws. (Until six weeks ago, I was with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.) I’m very fortunate to have been able to turn a hobby into a profession—I enjoy everything about it.
Thanks to Instapaper—the wonderful iPad app for sharing long-form writing—I read a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction, especially journalism, often from publications and writers of whom I’d never heard before. It’s an exciting time to be a reader.
I’m always, always writing, all nonfiction, mostly on a half dozen different blogs. I don’t know that I’d even classify my writing as “artistic”—I regard it as more of a craft, a constant churn as I learn to communicate and persuade more effectively.
YWW taught me to write for the love of writing. That I don’t need to make a living as a writer. That I don’t need to make any money at all as a writer, but that I just need to write. It’s better to write a dozen lousy paragraphs than to write nothing for the fear of writing badly. You can’t edit nothing.
Write, but do not aspire to make a living at it. Write for the love of writing. If money comes to you, great—that’s a rare gift, and you should be grateful.