Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Writer's on the Wall

I happen to catch the Bamboo Killers blog entry (some strong language) about being a writer – specifically E.B. was saying that she wasn’t a writer and was wrestling with getting on with her life.  Bastante.  It was a very honest post and I’m glad that she hasn’t thrown in the towel yet.  But I disagree with her a little.  Or do I?

She wrote that despite validation and winning a major contest, she wasn’t a writer.  Her basis?  She isn’t making a living writing.  It’s the same discussion I’ve read a dozen times in the last year.  What makes you a writer?  I have an opinion and it isn’t tied to the money.

But what does everyone else consider a writer?  We have labels based on occupations – teacher, sailor, soldier, spy – so it’s easy to know who fits in.  But what about me?  I teach a lot even though I’m not called a teacher.  I can juggle too, but I’m not called a juggler.  Of course the guy on stilts at the beach isn’t a juggler either even though we call him one.  He’s a creative writing major at the local university trying to earn tuition money so he can become a teacher.

So what gives?  I suspect it has to do with the idea that we all learn to write and so many people have ideas for stories and wrote poems in love letters/texts.  What makes you so special that you can be called writer while I can’t?  For too many people the only proof is the paycheck.

For me it’s far simpler.  If I don’t write, I explode.  Ergo, I’m a writer.  Just not yet a commercially successful one.
For a dog person, Emily sure has a lot of cat pictures on her blog

No comments:

Post a Comment