Friday, February 02, 2007

A World Full of Writers...Scary!

Maybe it's just me, I don't know, but it seems like the entire world wants to write. It isn't that I resent others wanting to write--I understand the desire!--but maybe if more people actually tried it, instead of standing around talking about it, there wouldn't be as many. Let me explain before I start sounding really nasty.

I'll be standing around somewhere (church, the store, etc.) and someone will say, "Hey, congratulations on your latest work" or "How's your new book coming along?" Then another bystander will say,"Are you a writer?"

I usually come back with something such as, "I like to think so."

Then they'll say, "I keep meaning to write a book, but I never can find the time."

Why does this annoy me so much? First of all, I don't believe there is such a thing as "finding the time." People do what they really want to do or what they force themselves to do. It isn't as if a big green monster is going to leap out of the closet at random moments and scream, "Me writing time! Be creative or I'll eat you!" If this was the case, more people would write and stop talking about it...either that or the writing monster would be really fat.

The second reason this annoys me is that I resent the implication that writing--good writing--is easy. People seem to think that, as soon as they have a free weekend, they're going to sit down and rattle off a bestseller or two. Ain't gonna happen, folks. Good writing takes hard work, practice, perserverance, sweat, blood, tears, computer crashes, and lots of milkshakes.

While we're on the subject, I would like to add another thing that annoys me. This is when people come up and inform me that they have a great book idea and all I have to do is write it and they will share the huge profits with me! My, how generous! Most of the time, the idea isn't anything spectacular. And even if it is, that doesn't mean it'll translate into a great story or book.

I guess people who don't write just don't understand the writing process. It isn't like turning on the sprinkler before flopping down in a hammock and getting up a couple hours later with a fully-developed story all green and lush. It's more like cutting inspiration out of granite with a nail file.

But, now that I have had my little rant, perhaps you all have things to add. Am I being ridiculous or do you other writer types experience similar feelings?

14 comments:

Diane said...

Even in my writer's group, some members have yet to make the shift of being a writer. If you are a writer, you have to write. Not just dream about it.

The Stupid Blogger said...

Exactly, Diane. No one would walk around saying, "I'm a builder," having never built anything. Or "I'm a fisherman," but never fish. Why do people say they're writers, but aren't willing to write?

Pendullum said...

I am new to your blog...
Great site...
and I agree with your sentiments...
Hope to find my way back here again!

Noi said...

I totally agree with you! I cannot stand people who give having no time as an excuse. Its like, you can find the time to do the things you want so why not this??

Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby said...

Stupid,

This post rings true but is decidedly NOT stupid enough for this blog.

You, as a founder (maybe THE founder) of this Blog, should be ashamed of yourself.

We have already established that you feel little shame, however.

I'm pretty good at shame. I'll feel it for you.

I'm glad to see all these other names responding to your post, though.

Welcome, Friends. (If I knew you, I would have said, "Welcome Cretins!"

The Stupid Blogger said...

Well, I thought about that, but I decided that with the stupid quotient of my last post being so high, a bit less stupidity on this one would average everything out.

Reverend Qelqoth said...

See? I love procrastination those that practice procrastinating. I just can't stand those that do it and pretend like they aren't doing it.

Personally, I don't claim to be a writer in any sense. I write some blogs, sure. There's a few of us who do. It's a fun way to pass the time. However, I'm not writing a best seller or anything.

No, my answer would be this if posed a question by a similar "writer":

"Well, I'd love to be a writer and it has crossed my mind to do that with my life but in all honesty, I'd rather get drunk, post some smut on the Internet and then choke the chicken over a few choice Jenna Jameson movies."

And for the record; procrastination (when performed correctly) seriously kicks ass. Kinda like this blog really.

The Stupid Blogger said...

Rev,

Procrastination may kick ass (I've certainly done my share), but it is most decidedly not productive. And, if one calls himself a writer, but is not willing to do what it takes to achieve that goal...well, then take a page from the Rev's book, because his answer kicks ass.

Ryan said...

That's good. You wrote that post to me. I have always envisioned myself being a writer - and I found time to do just that. What I ended up with was 30 pages of dribble that I didn't even want to read.

Lesson learned.

I have a lot of respect for those that are gifted in the literary arts. I am a good farter, and that is perhaps going to be my claim to fame - I also have lots of time to hone that art.

The Stupid Blogger said...

Hey, Ryan!

I don't consider myself a "great" writer, but I am definitely better than how I started out. My early stuff wasn't only dribble...it was downright dumb.

Writing isn't only instinctive, it is honed by practice. If you want to write, then write!

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

As one of the world's great novelists myself, I hesitate to affix my name to this post. But, I know how you feel. In fact, I've often thought that there needs to be a "How to Not Be a Writer" book for all aspiring writers who really shouldn't be. Maybe you could find the time...

Paul "FooDaddy" Brand said...

Hey! It's Stephen King!

Paul "FooDaddy" Brand said...

Ryan:
Do not downplay your skills as a Farter®. Others may give you the stink-eye, and some may even tell you to get off the elevator before you've reached your floor, but they are members of the Hordes of Unenlightened. They know not your powers and your exalted place in the human hierarchy.

Fart proudly, my son.

Reverend Qelqoth said...

I thought I'd perform a Google Search for "Jenna Jameson movies". I only found myself back here by sheer coincidence. Fucking weird. But amusing, considering the nature of this blog.