Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Write It Proud

When I studied business studies at college (seemed like a good idea at the time), my least favourite subject was economics. I got it. I understood the theory. That wasn't the problem. It bored me. I appreciated the relevance of the subject on my course and the importance of economics in the running of the world. It just wasn't my kind of thing.

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.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Fiona. Glad to meet another one, since I've only met 3 in my life and 2 were visiting Chicago from Ireland...the 3rd is Phillipino and her dad had many wives and kids and picked her name out of thin air, so she had no idea it was Celtic. Go figure! Me late faither was from Glesga.

    Yes. I'm a writer. I'm also a mother of 4, 2 of whom are still in college, so I work multiple part-time jobs, because no one will hire me for anything full-time. I stayed home (mostly) while they were young, which shows since they are all intelligent well-spoken young adults. But the work-world cares not about how I can raise kids, only about what I've been doing for money lately. Sigh.

    My writing is my only outlet where I feel what I do is something that no one else could do. A trained monkey could do my p/t jobs easily, and be less bored. But only I can write my stories. I don't even apologize anymore because I write romance. I spout statistics about how huge the sales are for romance and leave it at that. No matter that I only account for such a miniscule part of that sales volume. I'm in it. So there.

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  3. We are lucky to be writers and to be able to earn a living from it. So many others don't get the chance. It is something for which I am very grateful...and proud. :)

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  4. Great post, Fi! We have to be proud of what we write and accept that not everyone will love it. And that's okay. :)

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  5. Hi, Fi! I absolutely LOVE the way you wrote this -- you really spoke directly to the heart...my heart. So, so true "...we have an added layer to the person they think they see in us."

    Thank you for the encouragement, and the reminder of what the few who really know me say is the best part of all "...a teller of tales only you can tell."

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  6. Thank you for the lovely comments. Great to hear from other writers.

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  7. Great post. Thanks for the "pick-me-up"!

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  8. I have read some posts lately that i haven't liked, some opinions about the killings of bloggers I totally respect, This was hard, but I kept my mouth shut, they were just sharing their truth and they are entitled to it!

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