Just A Writer

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For the second day in a row, I felt an inordinate amount of anger towards my fellow man. Check out yesterday’s post for my rantings and anger management.

Today was an unrelated topic that made me see red. And I mean RED.

I was sitting at lunch with my coworkers and a young kid, just graduated from high school and a new employee, was talking about the Valedictorian of his class. He said, and I quote:

“She’s seriously the smartest person I’ve ever known. And she’s not going to do anything with her life. She’s going to be a writer.”

Um… EXCUSE me?

*Deep Breaths* *Deep Breaths* *Deep Breaths*

At first, I didn’t know what to say, so I blurted out, “HEY! I’m a writer!” Then an awkward laugh pelted forth from my lips. I was just so astonished at the amount of ignorance that was spewing from him. I suppose some people would say that I should cut him some slack because he’s only 18. Um… No.

I remember being 18. I remember what I felt, who I looked up to, how to respect other people, and how NOT to degrade an ancient and noble calling. Urgh…

I had to repress my violent urges (which I do everywhere except when playing sports. If you come across me on a court, I have no mercy. I should really take up boxing).

It was just so amazing to me that someone was so blindly unaware of how difficult it is to be a writer! Some of the most intelligent people in history were writers. Some of the most profound truths we still carry in our hearts came from mere writers.

Am I just a writer? HECK NO! I am so much more than a writer. I’m a creative being, endowed with imagination, empathy, compassion, love, a willingness to serve, INTELLIGENCE (because apparently only stupid people should become writers), loyalty, quiet bravery… The list could go on. I’m not saying this just about myself. I think a good majority of writers share these traits, especially the intelligence.

I so wanted to spit in this kid’s face… but I didn’t. I repressed it, like I do so many times when I want to scold and lecture and grab him by the ear to sit in the corner with a dunce hat.

Man.

My friend, John Guillen, did a guest post about this yesterday over on kdaugh1992’s blog, on a scarily similar topic. It was beyond ironic that this happened to me today, so I just had to blog about it.

Does this happen to a lot of people? I defend my writing and the writing of many other people to my friends, coworkers, family, patients, and random strangers, all the time. It annoys me beyond belief that people have no idea how much work it takes to write a book, Valedictorian or not. I wanted to smack him upside the head with the 105,000 word, 300 page novel that took me ten years to finish while I was pursuing something that would serve to fund my true passion.

I’m definitely angry-writing today. It’s been a weekend/week of emotion-filled writing. Sometimes that’s good. And sometimes it gets to be a little too much to bear. Here’s hoping I can maintain my sanity.

Oh, who am I kidding…

 

“What you’re really supposed to be doing is whatever makes your heart sing.”
― Barbara SherI Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It

“With my career I want to either make something or make an impact. Writers both make something, and make an impact.
”
― Jarod KintzThis Book Has No Title

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39 thoughts on “Just A Writer

  1. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in… I agree with you, the kids was a jerk. And where will he be in five years? In five years when you go celebrate having just sold your third NYT best seller, and he’s your waiter, you can remind him of how stupid he was when he was only 18. (And, NO, I’m not picking on waiters. 😉 )

  2. Oh man. I haven’t had anyone actually tell me anything like that. It’s usually just a look on their face. Which tells me that they don’t think I could ever actually write a book or that they don’t view writing as an actual profession. But that always happened at work with customers, so the most I ever did was shut my mouth and stop talking before something stupid came out.

    But really, there are about a million things you could have said to that guy that you didn’t. Good job for not slapping him across the face.

      • Haha! Even if that were true, I’d still have a hard time telling him off. I’m much braver in print that I am in speech. But it’d be tempting.
        And I’m glad you have faith that I’ll be that successful. I don’t have nearly those grandiose expectations.

      • Haha perfect.

        It’s okay. Just for today. 🙂

        And sorry about your bike cushion! People suck. I just read that today because I don’t get on WordPress hardly at all on Sundays.

      • No sweat! I rarely post during the week because I just don’t have time. It’s hilarious to see how few posts are put up on the weekend. It’s one of the few times I have time to spend on a post, and nobody is on! HAHA! And, all of a sudden, my WP feed was drowning in posts this morning. I’m kind of backward in my posting, I guess, but it’s all cool.

      • Well Sundays are my go to work, go straight to the gym, go home and sleep days. That’s why I don’t.

        But yes, you’re backwards. You should work on that. Haha

      • Like I said, it’s all cool! Your Sunday sounds like my Monday through Thursday. Draining days, to be sure. And despite how tired I am, I’m still not sleeping well. I swear, this insomnia is driving me nutty. (Nuttier than usual, anyways).
        And being backward is fun! I’m never bored, and I frequently amuse people with my weirdness. Plusses all around!

      • Okay. This one has to do with the whole seat cushion thing. I got a new one to replace the stolen one, but they didn’t have the brand I’d originally bought.

        So I got a different one, and it fit a little different, but I thought, what the heck.

        But then, of course, multiple times during my ride, the cushion kept sliding sideways and off one edge of the seat, and it felt so weird! I had to stop so many times to adjust it because I was literally “half-assing” it (pardon my language) since the stupid thing kept falling off!! And I looked even more ridiculous because I’d added those fingerless padded gloves to my outfit to protect my hands from the pressure on the handle bars.

        Yup. I’m a real winner.

  3. Writing is a career that doesn’t garner enough attention because it’s seen as “too artsy” to make money unless you’re lucky or amazingly gifted. I wish someone had have given me a little encouragement when I was in school to write instead or giving me science, business or healthcare…. I suppose that’s why we are all passionate about it now (o: ..p.s. anger writing rocks (o;

  4. I can see why you’d be mad! It’s difficult for people who don’t have a passion for creativity to see how hard it is, and how much it means to people. I have given up defending my choice to people who don’t believe in it. As long as you believe in it, that is the main thing! 🙂

  5. I defend writers ALL the time. I get it. I have to defend it against my family as well. They say, ” Writing not a career, there is no money made doing it.” It always hurts my feelings, even to this day. I still write. I do apply for other jobs, but majority of them are writing jobs. We make the world go round. Sorry, you were upset today. But, We are the champions, my friend!”

    • Yes, I feel your pain. And we definitely ARE champions, my friend!! 🙂

      The reason I became a physical therapist is because I was too afraid to be a starving artist. Although, with the amount of debt I have from getting my degree, I’m a starving therapist! Haha! So I should have gone for it, I guess. But that’s okay. I like what I do, and it helps to pay the bills and supply me with good health insurance. So I can’t complain too much.

  6. Yep, that must have been annoying. We writers know it’s a noble calling and also bloody hard work at times, but I think a lot of people think it’s a cushy, jet-set kind of thing where you laze around a bit and go to a lot of glamorous parties. All they know are the celebrity authors. But don’t be too hard on the kid – she at least has the exuse of being young. And, let’s face it, she not far wrong in saying that most people make little money from their writing.

    What I sometimes find is a certain condescension towards writers. I recently had someone ask me if I’ve written YA novels because of JK Rowling. It seems that if you write YA, you must want to be the next JKR – that must be your motive. I don’t really like that assumption about motives; again, it probably comes from an ignorance of the whole business.

    • I wasn’t too hard. I kept all my evil looks and snarky comments to myself. 🙂

      Yes, it drives me nuts when people think I’m in it either for the money or to make a name for myself… like JKR. Of course, it’d be nice to have both money and notoriety, but is that my motive? Of course not!

      By the way, I’m a total anglophile, so the fact that you said “bloody” made me smile like a moron. 🙂

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