Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who is a real writer? Or should that be whom?

From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.

I had to write that sentence three times before I realized I'd misspelled "here" as "hear". And I just edited the post to correct "right" to "write".

All over the interwebs you can find writerly advice, from the serious (yet funny):

Are You a "Real" Writer? Is This Even the Correct Question? - Kristen Lamb's Blog

To the hilarious (and entirely correct):

How and why to use whom in a sentence. - The Oatmeal

I knew I was a "REAL" writer when I accidentally closed out of a half-finished blog post and felt physical and mental pain like I hadn't felt since I lost the stone out of my engagement ring. But I buckled up, buttercup, pulled on my big-girl panties, and put on my "I am a queen; I got this shit handled," crown. I opened up Word (where I should've been typing in the first place) made some notes, saved my remaining links, and resolved to rewrite it.

This blog may look like a silly bit of posturing to get my funny on, but it's also my first step in being a published writer, writing fiction books for a living. It's my discipline. I may be starting late, but goddamn it, I'm starting. I write every day at least half an hour.  Even the shorties are half an hour of writing, if my anxiety is high it sometimes takes me that long to drag a few sentences out of my brain. If I truly haven't spent half an hour I'll make a second entry that day. It's getting to the point where if I don't write I feel jumpy with pent up mental energy, like an athlete who hasn't trained. But as a mental athlete, I don't have to take a rest day! Yay! My brain doesn't get injured from overuse!

I do need to find out if I'm over using commas. That's kind of important.

I will publish. If it takes me the rest of my damn life I will publish. I'll do it for the trousers, steeds, and bourbon. I'll let Matt keep the monocles and mustaches.

It's possible I didn't grasp the full meaning of The Oatmeal's post, but what the hell.. I'm having fun.

They were out of steeds, so they gave me this nifty car.


  1. Thank you for writing this. I have the same issue with writing as I have with running. When I was running and logging my miles, I still never "felt" like a runner because I always had to have walk breaks. My marathoner friends would get so pissed at me for saying that I was not a real runner. Not giving myself credit for what I was doing.

    I've been doing the same thing with my blogging. "I'm just blogging, I'm not a real writer." But like you, I agonize over the words and the flow. Not with every single post.Some days I just say "f*ck it!" and babble on without caring. But other days it takes me hours. (the one about my eldest took hours. The one about the hubby and the enema took DAYS. The intimacy one...that was rough, too) Then the other day, one of my blog heroes was emailing with me and she called me a writer. And I got incredibly emotional. It meant so much to me.

    I've never thought about writing a novel. I read the ideas you have and I am in awe. I love how the characters come to you and I can't wait to see these unfold!

    I HAVE thought it would be wonderful to do a sort of coffee table book with photos of older people (couples) with a page or two filled with anecdotal stories. Think Story Corp but with pictures and multiple stories, not just interviews.

    Anyway, it is something MY "back of the brain bitch" is trying to keep from me.

    1. I know that elders are a subject that's vitally important to you. You can do it!

    2. Also, thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me, especially on the days when I Inner Bitch tells me I don't have the education and training to be a writer.

    3. OK. You need to make a trip down here. We need to build effigies of our inner bitches and BURN THEM! And then we roast marshmallows over the flames! (and have s'mores and maybe some sort of festive, adult beverage)

    4. And we'll sing, "Ding, Dong, The Bitch is Dead". In our Ya Ya hats!

    5. YES!!! YES!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this idea! And, if they coyotes are out, we will yip and howl at the moon with them!

  2. Hi, I just found your blog through B3. :)

    I can relate to so much of this! I have wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I have been writing consistently for about 4 years, and yet I still can't quite call myself a writer without feeling...I don't know, deceptive in some way.

    On a side note, I think I overuse commas too. I used to get graded down in high school for it.

    1. Hello Kasey! Thanks for taking the time to visit and read! You're the first person I don't know in real life to leave me a comment, thank you! In addition to overusing commas, I overuse exclamations points! But this is how I talk in reality, so I think it's okay. As long as I don't do it in my book. In my not-so-humble opinion, real writers write because they can't not write, even if they never publish, even if it's "only" a journal. You're a real writer. Never doubt it!

  3. Just as B3 said...

    When you start running, when do you get to call yourself a runner? After you finish your training, after you finish your first race, after you finish your first marathon?

    I trained for a marathon all last year. Even when I was far enough along in my training that I *knew* I could complete a marathon, I never called myself a marathon runner. Then after the marathon, I took a break from running. I couldn't very well call myself a marathon runner then, because I could no longer run one.

    I thin B3 is right. If you're doing the thing (writing/running) then you get to call yourself that thing (writer/runner). You do not need to be a profession writer to be called a writer. You do not need to run marathons to be called a runner.

    You are a runner/writer (or perhaps a writer/runner I'm not sure).

  4. This is to B3: I'm catching up on older posts
    Want to say that your idea of a 'coffee table book' with images of older couples and include stories is a great idea.
    I had the unique opportunity to work in a University Library that had a Culinary Program. So of course the Library had great cookbooks of recipes with fantastic photos. The one book that I read (that sticks with (my inner writer) is a small cookbook by Mya Angelu. Special recipes from her family, life and all with a special story.

    You have the passion and that energy will come through in your photos and stories for your book. And it will be published because (today) self-publishing can be done.