I’ve read two really thought-provoking non-fiction pieces this week. And for the next two days I’m going to post my reactions to each of them.
The first piece I want to write about is written by Karen Woodward who asks: Is there such a thing as an aspiring writer? Her blog post is focused on this phrase – ‘Aspiring Writing‘ – and the difficulties this title actually poses for people who would like to write, but don’t. They aspire to write, but never actually get around to it. Karen uses Chuck’s snickerdoodle of writerly goodness to demonstrate this quite well:
Such a definition is something I am painfully aware of, because for years this is exactly what I did. I was aspiring to be a writer; I knew it is what I wanted to do and I fully planned on doing it…one day.
Problem is, I wasn’t a writer. In many ways, such a phrase is what this blog was built on: the intention to write. “The struggle to be a writer who writes.” Now I am actually writing on a regular basis I can see how futile that aspiration was. As Chuck’s image demonstrates: either you write, or you don’t. If you don’t write then you aren’t a writer: full stop.
As Karen’s post so clearly states:
“When a person says they’re an aspiring writer it means they want the afterglow of looking at the words birthed without going through the labor of producing them.”
And yes, two years ago when I started this blog as a means to answer for my desire to write – to change me from an aspiring writer into an actual writer – that is what I wanted. I wanted to fast-forward through the hard work and be able to announce myself a writer.
I’m so glad I didn’t have that wasted opportunity because, really, where would it have gotten me? The hard work and struggles of being a writer is what makes the process fun. It is what defines it as such a demanding yet worthwhile venture. If it were easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? It sounds simple – being a writer – and yet there is so much passion and labour and huge parts of the individual themselves buried deep within that phrase that it is as far from simple as you can get.
But the concept itself is easy.
If you want to be a writer – then write.
Which brings me to that second piece that I read this week that got me thinking….
“What’s standing in the way of your writing success?” and “What exactly does ‘successful’ mean?”
Check out tomorrow’s post to read more.