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PUBLIC APOLOGY
I was kind of yanking my brother's chain when I wrote yesterday's post, and obviously, since he's one of the few that hears the tone of my voice in his head when he reads my words, simply BECAUSE he knows me (too) well, I figured he would get that.

See, it wasn't really him (he?) that sparked the post I wrote, but it was he (him?) that sent me the link to the essay that DID spark it, so he got sort of associated sideways and took the brunt of the blame, quite unfairly.

Robin Hobb thinks what I do here isn't Writing. She thinks that what ALL of us who blog and journal online do isn't Writing. And to be fair, she has a valid point in many, many cases. And she obviously has her tongue firmly inserted in her cheek, as well. She's a fantasy author, for those of you who don't know: a damn good one and a damn good Writer as well.

Whether or not I am a Writer (or you) may be open to debate but the fact remains that I am a writer. I write, therefore, etc. I may not write novels or novellas or trilogies that sell a bazillion copies and get translated into several languages, but by God, I do write. Once in awhile I even birth a halfway decent poem, so I can, with confidence, claim I am a poet, though I am not in the league, by far, of the Real Poets, and I'd certainly never dare to try and make a living with it.

One thing that I think makes a writer is the ability to play with language, to hear voices in your head and transfer them to the page (or screen) in such a way that others hear them, too. And if you can do that with characters, super, but if you can do it with yourself and your life, then that is equally valid.

Sometimes I think it's a shame that I DON'T have the capability to create worlds in my head, and storylines and characters that would make someone buy all my books and read them over and over, like so many of the authors I devour and adore. But it doesn't really matter, because I know my writing talent, such as it is, lies in other places. I believe, like Robin Hobb, and like my brother, that the only way to be a writer is to WRITE. It's a nice bonus to know that I have such fans.

Sorry, John, if my mental voice didn't translate very well, and also that I made you out to be the bad guy, quite without malice aforethought. You're very much the opposite and one of my most dedicated champions.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging!
 thoughtful
mood: thoughtful
music: Roxy Music—More Than This


Comments
(Anonymous)

A very nice entry full of insight!

"And if you can do that with characters, super, but if you can do it with yourself and your life, then that is equally valid."

Soooo true! And you are an expert at that. In every sense of the word to me, you are a writer. Those who write books are Published writers, but if only the publishing part is a criteria for being a "Real Writer", then anyone can be it. Just look at reality show "bimbos" (sorry) who write bestselling books. Would the "fine" authors want to be associated with them?

No, being a writer is all about communication, both internal and external. Some people write for themselves, and don't want anyone else to read. But they are writers. Others, like you and me I guess, since we are online - write both for ourselves, and to be read. So for us it's about both internal and external communication.

Writing about a person's own real experiences and views of life etc, can be even more powerful to others than made up stories about fictional characters.

So, you are definitely a writer. And a really good one too. As this very entry shows.

/Mia

http://mias.blogg.se

(Anonymous)

Sorry to be late to the party. Your initial post confused me, for some reason; I remember reading it and wondering what the hell you were talking about. Now I've read the Hogg post, and I'm still confused. I agree with her completely, since I know of what she speaks, and to whom: She was talking about writers who get waylaid by blogging instead of doing other writing, the seduction of immediate gratification. Been there, done that, know that. If blogging, though, is the writing you do (and lots of writers do mostly or only blogging), then NOT APPLICABLE. So there.

Also, the whole notion of "published" is archaic, IMO. You're published, Liz; here it is. If you're talking about the mechanics of having words between cardboard, that's easy enough to do. If you're talking about the affirmation that comes from some stranger with a checkbook judging whether or not a profit is possible, that's economics, and rapidly changing economics. The majority of books I see advertised now, in my reading, are probably "self published," which itself is an archaic phrase in this climate. Like saying something is "self written." The fact is that technology has made it possible for writers to control the appearance and distribution in new and really wonderful ways, and many (even well-known and wealthy) writers are taking advantage of this. So this question becomes fuzzy and, really, moot. It's all about readers. Got readers? You write. Labels are for canned goods.

Chuck

Labels are for canned goods. I love that!!

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