Unpopular Opinion: You’re Not Writer

INT. HOME OFFICE – NIGHT

ARAMIRU sits in front of his computer as he types away in lethargic cadence peppered with pauses. He begins talking to himself.

ARAMIRU
“You’re not a writer.”

“What do you mean I’m not a writer?”

“I’m not trying to be a dick, and—and I’m not trying to be discouraging, and obviously I’m not trying to offend, but—”

“—Usually when people say ‘I’m not trying to be’ something, they most certainly are being those things.”

“You’re putting me in a box here.”

“Oh? Oh. Excuse me. I’m putting YOU in a box here?”

“Then, what am I supposed to say if I’m really not trying to be those things?”

“Have you ever considered trying just not being those things.”

“What the hell does that even mean. That’s not an answer. It’s the opposite of an answer. That’s a no-answer. That’s like telling someone never be misunderstood. Was there some vaccine to being misunderstood that I missed? And when did you become a walking rubric of what is and isn’t kosher conversation and what is and isn’t to be understood?”

“Have you tried to say things that makes you less likely to be misunderstood?”

“I’m misunderstanding you right now!”

“Inside voices please.”

ARAMIRU equably stares but does indeed lower his voice.

“I have opinions. I am entitled to my opinions. Are we–“

“—don’t say 1984—”

“—Nor—”

“—or North Korea, or China, or any other non-fictional or fictional settings to make a tired analogy. Just say your piece and be done with it. Let’s get this over with. Tear off the bandage.”

“May I?”

“Dude, I’m already halfway out the door. People reading this inane arguments with the self are already rolling their eyes. Just grab your imaginary balls, tickle it, pull on it, and say what you got to say and be done with it.”

“I find that tad much.”

“Bye.”

“You’re not a writer.”

“Okay. Here we go. I’m grabbing the shotgun. We’re about to make an impressionism piece of Hemingway’s last self-portrait.”

***

You’re not a writer.

This isn’t to say I’m a writer, dear reader, but I’m trying to say just because we write doesn’t give us a right to make the declaration to the world that we are writers.

Who am I to say that, you ask? I have no authority. But this is my blog and this is, no matter how terrible you think it is, my opinion. Also, because it does bother me, I know that stuff up there wasn’t in proper screenplay format. This new WordPress is a whole new learning process.

Anyways.

You see, I always felt uncomfortable calling myself a writer and determined eventually down the road I think many of you should feel a little silly about it as well.

Within the semantics, of course, of declaring it as if it’s our profession, our professional identities, or a significant part of who we are as representative of what we can provide to the world.

Go fuck myself you say?

Fine. Will do. And I’m going to tell some of you to go fuck yourselves soon as well but let me set it up first.

How many of you call yourselves, as adults, as a declaration at social gathering that:

“I am a basketball player!” Because you play ball at your gym.

“I am a plumber!” Because you’ve fixed your own toilet clog?

“I am a MMA fighter!” Oh, I’ve heard that one before from guys who’ve just joined a gym for about a month to impress girls.

“I am a doctor!” Even though you’ve never even finished med school.

Wait, hold on, don’t assume the punchline yet of why I’m about to tell some of you to go fuck yourselves.

Do you not declare those things because those are professions, talents, and skillset are of those that actually require adequate training, expertise, and maybe even a little success before you can declare yourself as one of those things?

Yeah.

Fuck you.

There are generally two required merits by society (and I like to believe this has been true since the dawn of civilization) to determine whether or not you can rightfully declare yourself as something.

Either:

  1. That something is paying for your livelihood. Or at least a good chunk of it.

or

2. You’re so damned good at it that your talents are recognized and/or counseled by others for your inputs.

Is this a fair metric? Probably not hundred percent but it’s as fair as reality is real. This is the world we live in.

I find it embarrassing to declare myself a writer to the world, so I don’t. I write. I write blogs. I’ve written a few stories.

And this isn’t an attempt at me crying and telling others not to do the same because I just feel embarrassed about it.

Because when others, that I don’t think have any right to call themselves it, calls themselves it, it being a writer, it’s a little insulting to the craft and themselves. Because this is a craft and profession that is deeply important, is indeed a craft in every sense, and with depth and artistry as deep and profound as the written language and human imagination itself.

So before you ask me who the fuck I am to be saying these things (which albeit in some sense supplements my point if you’re asking for my credentials), ask yourself who the fuck you are that you think you can call yourself a writer.

I’m sure many of you out there can.

But most of you can’t.

It has to be earned.

It’s like… it’s like… watching a yellow belt in Karate calling himself a master, an expert, a black belt.

Applying for a job at NASA because you took physics in university and watched Apollo 13 religiously.

And for some of you?

Real talk?

Go write something down and actually have it viewed by strangers and peers before you even think of calling yourself a writer.

You write.

That doesn’t make you a writer.

It makes you a writing person, a writing hobbyist, a writing learner, a writer.

But not a writer.

That bold font has to be earned.

Why do we have to try so hard to take that away from ourselves?


ARAMIRU OUT

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