I’m sitting here in front of my MacBook, fingers hitting the keyboard letters every now and again, trying to put down into words the cool idea I had for a post earlier today.
I know how it should flow; I know how it should read; I know the start, middle, and finish. But I can’t get it to come out the way it presented itself in my head.
There are many reasons for that.
One, I’m stupid tired. Several late nights and early rises have caught up with me, and my eyes feel like they’d burn holes in snow faster than a drunk’s hot piss.
Two, there are so many distractions around me that, while I know I should be ignoring them, are present all the same. And I can’t ignore them.
The third, and probably most relevant point, is I’m not a writer, so I don’t practice the process of flow, of transferring ideas to prose, and moving beyond the mind-block when the block’s setting in like cement on a new driveway.
Because while I may write content on a page like the one you’re reading now, that doesn’t make me a writer. Enough people – writers, real writers – have told me that enough times that every one of their disparate statements are now just one single soundbite.
You put words together. You sometimes make it enjoyable. It may even get you praise from your readers. But that doesn’t make you a writer.
So that’s why I’m currently sat here, wondering if I can get the opening pushed through to the middle part and weave its way to the end.
Because if I don’t, I’ve just wasted my time, right?
Maybe so. But do I give a fuck? No.
What Is a Writer?
So I don’t have prose flowing from my fingers like the classics that make ordinary scribes writers.
So I don’t have students of the English language discussing my words as part of their mark for their senior year exam.
So I don’t have a key to the city where I was born, for bringing the literary masses to see where that city’s wordsmith was born, and raising the tourism income a certain percent above the average.
So I don’t get introduced at parties as “the writer, [INSERT NAME HERE]”.
Does that matter?
Maybe I’m not a writer. Maybe you’re not a writer either, because you don’t have any of the prerequisites above to be “a writer”.
Does that lessen the words that do come out? Do they offer less gravitas than someone who’d be described as a real writer, because they write prose and books that sell versus words on blogs that exist?
Maybe. Maybe not. To be honest, it’s not something that should matter.
It’s the Words, Not the Writer
If you touch someone emotionally, are you less of a writer because that emotion bled from a blog post?
If you connect with someone viscerally, are you less of a writer because the visceral origin was a block quote?
If you describe something less grammatically but more visually, are you less of a writer because the visual stemmed from the connected resonance of blogger and reader taking it into a new dimension in the comments?
I don’t really know where I’m going with this.
Like I said at the start, I’m beat, and a little distracted with several things that need to be done before the end of the week. So I may not even be writing something that flows, or makes some kind of sense to more than just me.
I’m sure those that critique words that don’t fit into their definition of prose will add a new sentence or two that says the same thing.
You shared your thoughts, but that doesn’t make you a writer.
And maybe that’s true. What do I know? I just put thoughts into words that may or may not form some structured flow, even if that flow is the Orinoco one.
Would the flow be better if I was a real writer? Probably.
Would the direction be more focused if I was a real writer? Probably.
Would the words connect deeper on any level if I was a real writer?
That, my friends, is the question that really matters. And you don’t have to be a real writer to answer it.