Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm Not a "Born Writer"



The quiz* reports I should “Stop writing now before it is too late to turn back.” Good to know.

Here are some reasons why I’m not a “born writer”...

• I don’t rewrite commercials, movie endings, of television shows while watching them.
First, there is the honest fact that I don’t write endings anyway. Ask any person who has tried to edit me.
Second, the very idea sounds like a profound waste of time. Rewriting commercials?
Third—and most likely to lose me friends—“’shipping” is a stupid way to read.

• I didn’t decide to become a writer in my early teens. My life and my brain just weren't that organized.

• I don’t especially love the feel of a keyboard or a pen. I’m a very tactile person. I like touching my physical environment. Both typing and writing with a pen tend to be dull, repetitive experiences. I like writing with a brush, a sharp stick, or a dipped nib much better as far as tactile sensations go. They are not so useful when it comes to submitting novels to editors, however.

• I don’t find quotes about writers and writing especially compelling, although I do find a certain aphoristic sort of quote enjoyable...

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” –Einstein
“The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.” –Fossey

    • I can’t blame my bouts of crankiness on lacking time to write. I am frequently cranky for a multitude of reasons. And as far as the idea that “creative juices...not released...fester and create moodiness and anger” goes, I have a multitude of ways to create. I am constantly McGyvering the world. It’s what I do.

•    • Being a writer isn’t my fantasy job. The more I think about this, the less sense it makes to me. For one thing, I had different, unattainable childhood aspirations: astronaut, cowboy, Thor Heyerdahl. For another, I know enough writers to know that their lives are distinctly their own, as original as their books.

•    • I don’t find writers’ biographies and memoirs more interesting than those of other sorts of people. Personally, I like to read books about explorers and inventors and criminal lunatics. There is some overlap with “writers”—I’ll grant that.

•     • I  don’t wish I was watching a movie based on a book I’d written. I think film and books are very different ways of telling stories. Some of my favorite books defy being made into film because the language--the way sentences are made and words sound--resists being translated into scenes. If I wanted to tell a story in film, I’d learn how to write a screenplay and learn the grammar of cinematography.

•    • Having lived as myself for my whole life; I’ve had many opportunities to notice that the lives of others aren’t mine. I’ve met many intelligent or diligent people who haven’t been successful. Or maybe they were, by their own measures, which are the only measures that matter.

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* Okay, we all know these quizzes are a waste of time, but bear with me. I do think this promulgates a number of wrongheaded ideas.
And I have no idea why blogger inserted extra bullet points. I probably told it to, but ?
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