To Have Written

â–º Read and research, refine and reduce to key points, consolidate the pieces and write a blog post to an immediate and responsive audience.

â–º Read and research, refine and reduce to key points, consolidate the pieces and plug into an existing or new place in the book skeleton to a hoped-for readership whose eyes may or may not ever see the end results.

The first morning routine is much more rewarding if there are readers hearing me at the time I say something. The second, an extreme case of deferred gratification and taking far more work than a mere blog post. And unrelenting over literally thousands of hours, all told.

Someone asked a famous author if he liked to write.

His reply is also mine: “I like to have written.”

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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