G.D. (Dan) Gearino, is a 30-year veteran of the newspaper and magazine industry. Hejoined the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., as business editor in 1993, the year I met him as a newly-hatched freelancer. He also wrote an engaging and award-winning column for a decade before leaving The Old Reliable. Dan’s the author of What the Deaf-Mute Heard, a novel that was later made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that received three Emmy™ nominations. He’s written three other books: Counting Coup (1997), Blue Hole (1999) and Wrong Guy (2005). I'm a better writer today because of Dan's editing. He’s one of my favorite people to trade stories with.
Be a writer like G.D. Gearino
1. What kind of writer are you?
I'm both a writer of journalism and a writer of novels. I was a reporter and columnist for many years before dabbling in fiction (or more precisely, before being open about my fiction). But mostly, I'm the kind of writer that likes to get paid for writing.
2. Why do you write?
See above. I have no marketable skills, yet I have a deep aversion to hard work. A man's got to make a living somehow.
3. What made you want to be a writer?
The fear of having to spend my adult life working as an accountant, which is what my father was. Also, the five months I labored as a heavy equipment operator in Wyoming (a job I took after quitting a perfectly good newspaper job in a snit). That five months of real work showed me what a sweet gig the writing life can be. You work inside, you don't get dirty, and women dig it when you casually say, "Well, I'm a writer."
4. What advice would you give to a fellow writer who was just starting out?
Write something every day. A dancer dances. A mechanic fixes engines. A firefighter puts out fires. If you're not writing every day, you're not a writer. You're a hobbyist.