If you’re learning to be a writer, give up now!April 10th, 2013 33 Comments
I’ve always been a writer. Even as a kid.
It sounds corny, but it’s not what I do, it’s who I am.
I think in writing
I write (in my head, of course) while I’m in the shower, while I’m running, while I’m cooking dinner. When I’m reading, I REwrite. Same when I’m watching TV or listening to the radio. I can’t play new music at work, because my mind wants to explore the lyrics. I even dream writing, sometimes retaining whole paragraphs the next day.
It’s hard to explain, but I actually THINK in writing. It’s like I see the written words when I think the concepts. My brain’s hard-wired that way.
I can feel the texture
Not just the words, either. I roll the timing, rhythm and balance around in my mind like I roll a Mentos in my mouth. Punctuation too. And structure. A page of writing has a texture my mind can feel. I don’t go looking for the errors and inconsistencies; they come looking for me. Like when a singer misses a note.
The writing has control
When I write, it kinda ‘melts’ out of the page. It evolves. It’s a living, breathing animal, and I merely have a leash on it; I don’t have complete control. I have to go with the flow. Let it happen. I’m guided by the writing, rather than constantly trying to guide it. I let go, knowing that what’s coming out of the page is good. It’s not confidence or positive thinking or belief. It’s just a given.
It’s about me, not you
It’s not about what OTHER people think of my writing. I don’t mould my writing to some external guide or expectation. That would choke the flow. I just write.
Similarly, what you think doesn’t change who I am. You may be one of millions who hate this whole post, but I’m still a writer.
You’re a writer or you’re not
I’m not bragging. That would be like bragging because I have weird toes, or because it bugs me that my wife doesn’t update the apps on her iPhone. (Oh, the disorder!) It’s just how I was made.
The point is that being a writer isn’t something you can learn. You’re either a writer, or you’re not. And if you don’t know you ARE, you’re NOT. In which case you never will be. You can learn some writing skills, but you can’t learn to be a writer.
Simple as that.
Please comment below with your thoughts. I'm not so old a dog that I can't learn a few new tricks!