Formal Introductions

I hate writing, there is so much I have to learn. Does a semi-colon go here? Is semi-colon hyphenated? Did I spell hyphen correctly? Is hyphenated a word!? Do not ask me what I think a preposition is. If you have ever fished with me, you know how I feel about rules. You know, matching hatches and whatnot. I feel the same about writing. With that being said, there is something about writing. It is not a passion, it is not a love nor vanity, you are just drawn to it. Sometimes it feels like you have to. With that feeling, I think the next phase of writing in my life has begun. Focus. Great writers have something that you just can not explain. I am not saying that I am, I have a very long way to go and picking up a third grade english book would be a great start. No matter the skill of writing (I think I was supposed to capitalize “English”), writing is about telling a story and conveying that story in such a manner that it is gripping. My family and others know me for being the most anti-climactic storyteller alive. It is true, and embarrassing. I can not end a story with power unless I am writing. Even then, I read the draft and think, “Wow, this sucks.”

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Prepare your brain to change pace, I hope the picture helped. Habits are hard to break. When you finally notice that you are developing a habit it is too late. Commas are my Achilles Heal as well as boulders that I can sit on in the river. Who would think that commas could be a habit?  Recently, I realized that there is a certain rock on the Arkansas that I sit and think on. Every single time I fish this river, I head directly to this rock and sit. I sit for a period of time watching fish feed near the surface. Waiting for the long black shadows streak across the seams as I pick feeding lanes and flies. Recently, the Arkansas has been releasing its treasure.

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On the thinking rock, the past and this page began to flash before me. Two years have gone by and I have sat in this room telling stories to passers-by. Random people who deem my writing good enough to read. Some say that I am a good writer, but at times I do not feel that way. The same feeling came along at times when I was a musician. I didn’t feel as though I was good enough. I heard other guitarists that would blow me away. Ultimately, it lead to the demise of my rock stardom. I felt like I was at the apex of my ability (not the apex of playing guitar). In writing and fly fishing, people blow me away on a daily basis. There are better fly fisherman, better writers, but mostly people better at marketing than I. People that know an industry that I have excluded myself from for years. Upon this thinking rock, a chain of thought and the surface was broken by a fish and a big smile across my face.IMGP0056

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Last year on the Arkansas I have been using different colors of the same pattern. Quite frankly, I have been using that pattern everywhere to some success. The bug today, a cream/brown Hail Mary, a new addition to the color scheme. After catching a few fish out of one hole, it was time to move on down the river to a different thinking rock. A rock that faced me a tad bit northward and on an odd side of a run that nobody really fishes. Watching countless fish rise, my thoughts came back to this page.

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Thoughts to this page reflected my attitude about the guitar. I didn’t really want to be known. I wanted to be in the background, to be invisible. I wanted the right people to find me. People who would go out of their way to support my… Well, for lack of a better term, addiction to writing. These people found me. Every comment you see down there are people that have stumbled across this page and deserve that same support from you who read this. We aren’t searching for popularity, it is something else entirely. Maybe we just want to spread our enjoyment to other readers. There is a fine line between people who “write” for popularity and we who just write. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like I was being egocentric and vain. Inner turmoil was overflowing and for a time I just sat on the rock, thinking about things that shouldn’t matter.

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What does matter is that I fish, take pictures, and write. The only reason, “because”. For those who may have never known, my name is David Goodrich and I am a fly fisherman. I hope the people who have been reading for the past couple years stick around for a few more. You might get some special surprises. To the people who have promoted and read this page, I can not thank you as much as you deserve. I am ready for this next year.

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14 responses to “Formal Introductions

  • Kirk Werner

    Those are some nice fish in them there photos, although admittedly I was more interested in what you had to say, because your write good. And I may have used more comas tha necessary.

  • cofisher49

    Bravo David. You smashed a homerun. Hmm, spell check, that devious little interloper just told me that homerun is two words not one. I for one spent the better part of my life following someone else’s rules. A creative writing instructor once told me I would never be a successful writer until I learned grammar and punctuation. One day I just decided that it was much easier and more realistic if I just write like I talk…extra commas, misplaced hyphens and all. My motto is, if they like it they will come and to hell with the rest of them. Keep on buddy.

    • backcountryfishnerd

      Thank you Howard! You could not be more correct. Like I said, in the heart of every great writer is a great storyteller. I’m sure this is why editors exist. Need I mention squirrels here? I would quit if I could, but then who would hear the stories? Thanks for sticking around Howard!

  • theriverdamselThe River Damsel

    Let me formally introduce myself. The River Damsel, a fictional and sometimes non-fictional wannabe writer. But, most of the time… a fly fishing enthusiast who finds a “thinking rock” on almost every journey out. Then, comes back to express many thoughts about life in the outdoors and how it soothes the soul. Thanks for sharing… I enjoyed your thoughts.

  • River Mud

    Just do it. There are a few outdoor bloggers whose innate ability to sling words together is just mind-boggling. The other good ones, as you suggested in your “marketing” remark, spend time trying to turn average stories into amazing ones, and standard fish photos into works of art…..and advertising the package as such. The kind of blogger who catches a few 8″ brook trout one day, alongside a highway, and right below their treatise on the topic, it reads “57 comments.” That’s when you know you’re onto something!

  • nate

    I am also a musician who took up writing. In my case, it was the birth of my daughter, and lack of a music scene in my town. I just long to do something creative. I still pick up the axe every now and then, but i’m playing for an audience of one, and I’m the biggest rock star she’s ever seen.

  • rivertoprambles

    David, Keep on finding those river rocks to sit on in the “background.” Keep on casting to those rainbows, and writing of important connections. The so-called “foreground” hardly matters.

  • Erin Block

    You know, I firmly believe that all the best writers hate it. Keep fishing and writing about it, “just because.” It’s the best (and most confounding) answer we have to keep on.

    One of your best pieces yet…and the new camera is badass!

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