Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Writing - Are you a real writer?

Being a writer, "real" or otherwise, is not determined by your commercial success at writing. It is also not determined by who, and how many, read what you write. Nor is it determined by what you write about or how many hours you spend at it every day/week/month/year you write.
You're a writer if you 'know' you're a writer. It is an internal thing. It's in you or it isn't. Yes you can learn to write. You can even learn to write well. But if you are not, in the core of your being, a "writer" then you're simply a person who writes.

I was thinking about the obsession which is writing and have often thought about all that means when I came across the Open Salon blog and the above definitions. (The link will take you there.) Obviously I'm not the only writer that considers the nature of being a writer. I agree completely about the chasm between writing and commercialism. To me it is the same as being an artist. An artist produces his/her work as they feel and visualise it and that is what a writer does but using alphabets, and reproduction on paper.
Writing is the link between the writers' mind and the world. The closest example I can think of today is the work of Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich.

 Dalston House

 The swimming pool.

I believe that what this amazing guy is doing is taking those parts of his imagination, that we all have but either suppress or ignore, and realising them so that they can be shared by others. In the top picture the people are not falling off the building and in the lower one the folk in the pool don't get wet. As a child I used to have a recurring dream that the street in which I lived was water and I could swim through it with the speed and grace of a dolphin. The house is actually flat on the ground in Dalton Street, London but there is a mirror at 45 degrees reflecting what is happening and it is the mirror that is being photographed.
When we write what else do we do but take the mind of the reader and manipulate it in directions that we feel will be most intriguing to them. As it says above it isn't about commercialism, 5 star reviews, Man Booker Prize and the like, it is about doing what we do - writing!

Looking back at the fact that I consider myself to have only begun writing in 2009 I have hardly stopped for a second since. But! I was actually writing poetry long before that and for some reason, and I can't give you any, poetry is a base that I often return to when emotion needs expressing, that is all emotion. In one sense, in this age of immediate gratification, I am amazed that poetry hasn't come more to the fore. I think too many people get bogged down in the idea that a poem should rhyme and be about love. Nothing is further from the truth. That is one type of poetry. Want to see another type? Have a look at yesterdays recipe blog. Recipe blog? I here you exclaiming. Another example of the immediacy of poetic satisfaction. I had something in my head that needed expressing!

God Bless