For some reason I’m awfully ashamed of my writing – or rather, that I write – around my closest ones. I cannot tell them; not about the blogging, the prose or the poetry, the fanfics or short stories or any of it, really. Only that I dabble with it; making sure I speak as frivolously about it as possible.
Partly because it feels so utterly personal, though paradoxically – as long as I stay anonymous – I am able to ‘publish’ and lay my heart out here, to you guys. However, the things I write here – these are matters I cannot really talk to my closest ones about, which is rather sad, I guess. But here I get no judgement and it’s freeing. Maybe I’m learning myself to one day speak about it to the people around me. I hope so.
However, explaining this or having this as an excuse for a possible career choice is another matter.
Writing seems as loose a profession as saying you want to become an actor. It’s hardly even a profession because, all in all, everyone can write like everyone can act; some just do it better. At best, it seems a pastime fancy one does in your sparetime apart from your real job.
Sure, writing is many things, but especially creative writing seems feeble and tabooed to aspire to. It isn’t really a title either to go after. I find ‘writer’ too unspecific (I think most people do, if they don’t think author), ‘author’ limited to novels or short stories, ‘poet’ to poetry, and ‘journalist’ to journalism, etc.. Of course, you can be a bit of both and everything, but you’re mostly one thing and though more and more gets published digitally and online, writing your stuff through free and open-source blogospheres still seems frivolous, at best. It’s hard to convince the older generation to take it seriously when it’s on the Internet only. Society mostly demands something concrete and peer-reviewed before it apparently is deemed valid. It is something independent, professional bloggers – which, luckily, is a more common, prominent profession nowadays – manage to slip past and I have so much respect for that, because I still have no idea how one can manage to simply blog for a living and get away with that. Almost as if it seems too easy compared to so many other professions. But one really shouldn’t compare. I guess most of them works sort of freelance, too, for many online magazines or gets paid through advertising, but it’s still something I have to look into.
However, despite not wanting to become some big-shot ‘digital poet’ of sorts, I find my stuff so utterly personal, meaningful and significant. And it’s somewhat painful to have to excuse and validiate writing as I and many others do; that to me/us it is and should be seen as more than a pastime. Especially when I see other professional bloggers – or vloggers – being able to build a millionaire life in their early teens(!) on such trivial things (in my eyes) as fashion, make-up, gags and gaming. Of course, these things have a broader appeal and more entertainment value with a great number of readers and/or viewers, but still … I’m not even asking for millions of dollars and readers, just more common recognition or awareness of other parts of online self-publishing. There’s so much potential out there if only one bothered to look.
But what can one do? And I think what is perhaps most important at this point of my life and what I need to remind myself is: I’m also so damn proud of what I have ‘achieved’ for myself. Though I may not outwardly say or show it, it is important and utterly essential to me. To get the words out and be free to ‘publish’ as I like. Anonymous or not. Unpublished or not. Unrecognized or not. Nothing of that is as important as the writing itself. In that regard, blogging has saved me and so many of us. And if my writing happens to resonate with someone or even several out there then I cannot ask for more. And to those who are like me, who dabbles with the same writing material as I; I can see the heart and soul so painfully and keenly through your stuff, no matter the objective quality of it, and I champion you all. I’m right there with you.
It reminds me of a post I read on tumblr:
Yet, you cannot build a career or a CV on such a romantic notion like that, I realize. Perhaps one day.
If I could only have loads of money so I’d never have to worry about money again, and be able to go away, buy a small cottage by the sea, get a dog and an old motorcycle, perhaps, and live in peace and quiet and write, I would. Yet, never having to worry about money like that would be utterly selfish, spoilt and irresponsible and I wouldn’t really like having so much money; I would feel guilty and uncomfortable, wanting to free myself from them by giving them to all my family, friends and to charity. However, it must be possible to have a bit of both, right?
Maybe this is a common condition among writers or wannabe-writers?
I rest my case.