How He Came to Write

Merrill Guice was raised by Opossums in the Swamps of South Georgia. He used to hang by his tail until he realized that it really wasn’t his tail.

In High School, his English teacher laughed out loud when he told her he wanted to write. In College, his journalism teacher told him his writing wasn’t strong enough to suck. He made it through English Composition by rigging his registration so that he always got the same alcoholic who kept burning his fingers when lighting a cigarette in class.

One day, he attended a presentation for Radio and Television majors where an actual, real live, television network newsman talked about his job and took questions. One major asked if you needed to know how to type. The newsman looked at the major with pity and said, if you can’t type you are going to go nowhere in this business. Merrill freaked. He didn’t know how to type.

This was back when they actually taught typing and shorthand in the business college. He went to a sweet old teacher and begged for help. She enrolled him in her class and told him to show up and ignore all the stuff about margins and formatting and just work like heck on his typing speed. He hired a typing major to do all his papers — which were take home. He made an A+ much to the anger and chagrin of his classmates who watched him screw around all quarter.

Out in his first real radio job, he started writing radio commercials. The thirty second genre taught him discipline. With only eight lines to work with, organization and pithiness were forced on him. After thousands of commercials, he discovered that he had learned how to write paragraphs.

He moved on to grammar courtesy of a grammar podcast. Finally, after 53 years, he had learned how to write. His teachers would not be surprised that it took him so long.

Back to the About Page

Leave a Reply