Friday, June 1, 2012

The 'I' in Writer: An Explanation

There's ink in my blood, I was born a writer. I know this because I was born with a pen in my hand and a story to tell. My mother has the scar to prove it. Since I'm an 80's child, I was holding a pen. Cut to now, where writers are called bloggers and they are born with laptops clutched to their chests. Lucky for my mom, she might not have survived that stretch.

Forgive the generalization, but I wasn't born to do the 'manly' things that the other swinging dicks around me seem to embrace so naturally. Not to say I'm one of those 'woman trapped in a man's body' types, I'm just a living attempt to redefine the word 'Man'. I'm not a Labourer, I'm a Thinker. Try telling that to my dad, born just when the 1950s were ending. He'd tell you there's no room for a Thinker in a man's world, you either do or you get out of the way. He works for a Restoration company: early wake-ups, heavy lifting, hands-on. I'm not frowning down on the working-man types, someone had to step up and build the world, then re-build it, and re-build it, and so on. All I'm saying is that there has to be another option. A label that falls in between the working-men and the pussies. Simply put, I'm a Thinker.

I'm also a living breathing cliche. The aspiring writer with the Bachelor's Degree, all but unemployed and yes, living with my parents. Sure, I could be a working man, an early riser, a heavy lifter, coming home with sweaty balls and dirty hands. That'd bring me a paycheque, but probably not much else. I'd rather live with my parents while I figure out how to be a writer when everyone says it can't be done, it's a shining alternative to being a labourer who doesn't think, a zombie who builds and re-builds but has nothing to say at the end of the day. I have something to say every moment of the day, which is likely why I caved and started a blog.

Why title this 'The I in Writer'? Well, that's the name of a manifesto I've tried to write a dozen times but haven't been satisfied enough with to call finished. Typically, I'm not a journal writer. I let my thoughts, feelings, and opinions live and breathe through my prose, through my characters, through my beginnings middles and endings. And even if no one ever sees the finished product of my manifesto (if there ever is one), I think it's important to have one. It's important to know what I stand for, why I write, who I'm writing for, what I'm trying to accomplish.

I write because it's the most natural ability I have. I've been writing in some form or another since a very young age. I have a complicated relationship with the Writer within, sometimes we don't hang out for weeks or months, and other times He won't shut up until I've inked up a blank page. Writing is the best talent I have, so I've believed all my life that it should be my career, that I could be known for my words, that there's a place for me among the other wordsmiths. I haven't given up on this belief, however, it's a lot more difficult to maintain now that I understand the harsh realities of being an Adult.

As a child, writing was just fun. Stories would pop into my head and I'd write them. Simple. As a teenager, writing was an experiment. How far could I go with these stories, how much could I express my twisted imagination before someone would tell me to stop. No one ever did. Now, as an adult, writing has to be a job, a career, a lifestyle. It has to be, because I spent so much time believing that if I wanted it enough, I'd become a writer. So I didn't spend much time learning the other talents and skills that are supposed to bring in a paycheque.

I write because the voices in my head need a forum in which to be heard. I write because I have an over-active imagination. I write because I love to read. I write because I know that there's others who are lost in this New World and they might need a voice to guide them. I write because it feels good, and as you can see from this ever-growing blog post, it's hard to stop once I begin. Ultimately, I write because the most fascinating subject in the world is human interaction: how 7 billion fancy apes can co-exist and somehow make it work (not without fucking it up most of the time, mind you). And since it isn't socially acceptable to sit and watch people all day, I create my own characters to study.

Even if I never become a famous wordsmith, even if I have to completely give in and get a Real Job so I can survive and have a life of my own, even if the world gives up on books, even if eventually everyone will be connected to their iBrain and not say a word anymore, I'll still write for myself. And for the ice-cream stained chubby little bastard within who believed that if he said he'd be a Writer, that he'd become one. And I'll still write for you, the people that read this blog post beginning to end because it truly interests you when a Thinker has something to say. And for those who gave up on this after the 140 character limit, well, you were never my audience anyways.

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