Sunday, August 16, 2015
Who is a Writer?
Ah, good, I just now remembered what I wanted to write about today. I went to bed last night, really tired, and started off with this:
What's fun about this is that it's all about writing. What I hope, is that...
And then I was too tired to write any more. But I had enough energy to watch an episode of Star Trek.
So, picking up from last night, what I hope is that we'll all trade ideas and frustrations and excitement of writing on this blog.
One thing I thought about is when, exactly, did I become a writer? Or, better yet, when did I think of myself as a writer? And how do we define it? Is there some magical line we cross, or a ritual we perform, where on one side we're not writers and on the other side suddenly we are?
I've always wondered about this. Saying you're a writer, at one time, meant John Steinbeck, or Mary Shelley, or Agatha Christie. Certainly not me. I never did anything prolific in school, or won awards. But then, somewhere in that "angry young man" phase of my late teens through twenties, amid late-night writings on napkins at Sambo's (a restaurant, long-gone, in Owensboro), consuming mass quantities of caffeine and cigarettes, connections were made in my brain.
But I didn't, for many years, think of myself as a writer. I'd write short essays about stuff I observed, then shove it in a drawer. I was an electronic technician/computer programmer, not a writer.
I kept coming back to the pen, though, over the soldering iron.
And that, I think, is what makes a writer. For all of us. Yep, I'm speaking to all my writerly friends out there, and all you who are afraid to write. When you keep coming back to it, thinking about it, worrying about it, chewing on it like a cat toy, loving it, hating it, cussing it, swearing you'll never write again 'cause all you write is crap, then you're a writer. You may currently be a non-writing writer, or a writer who hates their stuff, but you're a writer.
I'm not preaching at you folks, I'm actually telling myself this. You're just hearing what I've said to myself to keep myself coming back to the page.
That's enough for now. Here's a link to another writer friend of mine, Ben Woodard. Take a look, please.
Keep writing, friends.