Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Write It Proud
Our lecturer was a serious, young woman who was obviously very knowledgeable on her subject. She and I never really hit it off. During one class, she asked us to write down what our three favourite television programmes were. I think she hoped that we would exhibit our maturity by making choices such as the news or Question Time (political discussion), or other such, sensible and serious viewing options.My list included Robin of Sherwood (hence the image above), the cartoon He-Man and some other fantastical programme that I can't recall at this time. She read through our choices and upon reaching mine uttered the words that I'll never forget, "She can't be serious, surely?". If I had any standing in her opinion, it completely dissipated at that moment.
As writers, we can often come up against a similar reaction, perhaps from our friends, often from strangers and occasionally from our loved ones. It's as if writers are a lofty, superior class and we, as lowly normal folk, could never make the leap to such accomplishment. This reaction is rarely meant unkindly. It just seems too extreme a stretch of reality for the commentor to refresh their view of us.
If only they could see the world with our eyes. If only they could become as familiar with our characters as we are. If they could accomplish either of those things, they would understand that we have an added layer to the person they think they see in us. We have magic and wonder and, on occasion, a devilishly devious mind. It's not their fault that they don't know this side to us because most of us keep it well-hidden, afraid to stand out or bare our literary souls to criticism.
You are a writer. Like me, you may not produce the obvious literary product (novels). I write plays for a living. Perhaps you write articles for magazines or you blog profusely. It doesn't matter because you know that attached to your heart is a tiny tag that reads 'Writer'. You're not a writer in waiting or an aspiring author. You are, right now, a writer. Be proud of it. Tell the world, or don't, but do not let people dismiss this incredibly important aspect of who you are. Be brave because yes, you are serious about being a writer and a creator and a teller of tales only you can tell.