Thursday, July 17, 2008

Am I a Writer?

I've been sucked into the blogging world. This was actually an accident. When I made the commitment to myself to try and write more, to try and write every day on a blog, I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing.

But this virtual world has so much more than I ever imagined. More even than I understand. Twitter, counters, memes, and other terms that I have only just begun to grasp. And so I stay close to the poolside, not venturing too far from the edge while I swim, lest I get a cramp and sink, or some blogger bully pulls me under kicking and fighting for air.

One thing I have done more of besides write, is read other blogs. There are a billion stories in the naked Internet. No time to read them all. So I choose a few written by friends both past and present, family members, and a couple blogs by complete strangers just for fun. I can step into their world and read all about the drama, comedy, heartache, success, like I would a good book.

The drawback to this reading is that I am made very much aware that there are a whole boatload of people out there who are better writers than me. Now, in the world inside my head, I am a writing guru. Sage and loquacious, able to pull a metaphor out of thin air for every occasion. I like to imagine, as I've said before, that this blog is being read by millions who see my words of wisdom, have their 'aha' moments where they too realize what a wordsmithing god I am, and feel so inferior that they cannot even bring themselves to comment on such an amazing writers work.

In real life, this is being read by my family and a few friends (hi gang) who are more than willing to leave comments. They are also already forced to love me because I'm family or friend. But my mind still writes as if my audience is larger. This has the pleasant effect of deluding me into believing that I am a Writer.

Now, I can hear my mother's voice clearly. "But you are a writer. And very TALENTED!"
Thanks Mom. :)

But sometimes, when I read other writing and see the talent that is out there, I am fully aware that I will always just be dabbling in writing, and photography, and my other hobbies, and probably make little - if any- money doing any of them.

One trouble almost every writer I read has is believing that their offerings are worthy of being read, so I know I am not alone or original with these thoughts. In fact, my friend Lisa (The Bird Sings over there in the 'Others' category) has written about it much more eloquently. As has an old friend from high school named Patresa, who is another really, really good writer. Both of their blogs deserve a good lingering visit because they can both put words together well, and have some darn good insight to boot.

They both also edit. Me... not so much. I'll spellcheck this before I post it, so I don't come across as a total ignoramus. But mostly blogging for me is just releasing the valve in my head and letting thoughts spew forth into the computer. Does this make me a writer? Shouldn't a writer have drafts and edits, and workshop their writings and live in some beautiful, scenic place for inspiration? I don't do any of those. Though there are some scenic spots in my town, I would not visit as a tourist if I did not live there.

I'd like to be a guest blogger some day, as that might indicate a level of success I have not currently achieved. Or be a Free Writer like Lisa and Patresa. Although, like Twitter, I'm not exactly sure what this is, and so it scares me a little.

My mind boggles. Probably because it is way early in the morning and I am thinking too much in a feeble attempt at staying awake. So, to my 'readers' (aka family and friends) thanks for your readership. I'll work on expanding the numbers of readers to satisfy my sense of accomplishment. But right now the quality of my readership is top notch.

And I'll be a happy writer, if not a famous Writer.

More Later


shaffersouth said...

That's the great thing about a blog, IMO. If I worried about the quality of my writing, I'd never publish. I like to think of it as more of a journal that I can share with my family and friends. That way, I'm documenting about life as it happens and staying in touch with those that mean the most to me. I also hope to have some sort of access to it so that I can look back on it later. Guess I should look into that...
But keep blogging! I love reading your insights.
Thanks for your comments, by the way.
Love you!

Sister Steph said...

Dear Bro-

Without question, you are a very good writer. As you continue to hone your skills, you will become a great writer. The better your technique, the better equipped you are to express all that you have to share.

I most enjoy your writing when I can tell you've momentarily forgotten your audience, and it becomes an exercise in simple self-expression.

When you write for an audience (when your focus becomes trying to reach them, move them, or inspire them), the wording can become self-aware seem pretentious. For some writers, that is their actual personality coming through in their text, but for you..."not so much".

Please keep writing; you do have fans, even if our membership is currently not as large as you'd prefer. If you continue to hone your skills and start to dedicate a portion of your writing time to editing, your audience can't help but grow.

In art or graphics, the white or negative space plays an important role - often it is as critical as what is actually there to be seen.

The instructor of a writing workshop I attended long ago challenged me to experiment with this "negative space" in my own writing. (I'm also a stream-of-consciousness writer, but when I really focus on editing, I find I can say more with less and make my words more powerful.)

Of course, this takes a lot of time and practice, and it's not something I did when writing this comment!

Love you - keep writing!

Sister Steph

Sharon said...

You ARE a writer... and a very talented one!
ditto to all said above... unfortunately I am NOT a writer... but I LOVE to READ you kids' blogs...I even think I have figured out how to post comments!
Now we're in trouble!
Love you,
MOM :)