I was reading a blog the other day (cited below) where a fellow blogger began his narrative by saying, “When you tell people you’re writing a book, they think, “So what, any idiot can write a book. I can write a book. Snookie wrote a book for crying out loud.” He went on to say it was important to him to change the way he was thinking and alter his attitude by first acknowledging he is not writing a book, but he is authoring a novel.
Well, my friends, I am not authoring a novel. Unlike my fellow blogger, I am writing a book. I suppose when I sit back and give it some thought, there is a certain stigma that is attached to the term “writing a book” and a certain amount of synthetic pride that goes along with the phrase “I am authoring a novel.”
The author of a novel invests a great deal of time and effort into his or her work, they really do! At times, the best novelist will spend years on a great novel. Most authors of successful novels will tell you it may take in excess of a year to write a novel. Then again, there are semi-successful novelists who will relentlessly produce two to three novels a year. I prefer reading the classics myself with a best-seller contemporary novelist thrown in the mix every now and then.
I have succumbed to the allure of writing fiction. I have devoted my writing habits to a scheme. With each book I write I plan to open my book with a brief fiction short-story – it’s back to the days of the apologue for me. I can honestly admit novels are not my passion or my strongest suit – I am a non-fiction writer of memoir, personal essay, and life’s inspirational musings. However, I have a deep passion for theology, philosophy and well… the written word. Perhaps the apologue will offer me the freedom to express my philosophic nature through a narrative – it’s left to be seen!
I have no qualms regarding my position in the writing industry, all semantics aside, I am a writer and yes, I am an author. I am writing a book and I will be writing more books to follow. I have no immediate aspirations of grandeur of authoring a novel or of joining the list of great fiction novelist throughout history. I only wish to write books.
To minimize the importance of what a writer does, by stating, “any idiot can write a book” is a gross misrepresentation of writer’s everywhere.
When I decided to become a writer, I was told by so many impassioned, but untrained people, “I’m writing a book. You should check it out.” Only to be met with some of the most horrific schlock I had ever read. No conflict, no action, no resolution, just a feel-good story molded after their ideal of the last romantic vampire flick they viewed on the tely. Most of the untrained writer’s did not characterize properly, nor did they carry their tone throughout the story. When it comes to grammar and punctuation. I am by far the worst. And when it comes to the mechanics of writing I suck! I am not embarrassed to say I would fail an editing class, that is why I hire an editor prior to submitting a manuscript. But atrocious is atrocious. Utter crapolla is tiresome.
Let’s face it, writing is an art. Artist require training. Most artist, like most authors of classic novels, go through life unnoticed. Their art, even when on display in their first gallery showing, rarely meets with unanimous approval.
Not knowing or not understanding the basics, and having poor writing skills or techniques, does not make an individual an “idiot”, they are merely misguided impassioned writers. The one area I will give misguided writers credit for, they are comfortable in their skin – they do not feel the need to conform in order to feel accepted. And if you recall, we were all misguided writers at one point in our lives!
Hell, I did not read my first book until I was twenty-six years-old. I did not pick up the pen until I was thirty-eight and then, it was to go back to school to get a Good Enough Diploma (GED). Now here I sit, fifteen years after getting a GED, and I hold three college degrees in English (BA), Philosophy (BA), and Theology (ABS), and I have yet to be confused regarding my status as a writer or an author, or forget where I came from.
When I was a young punk, I used to have a saying. When a person asking for charity would approach me and plea, “Could you spare some change?” I would venomously retort, “Could you contribute to society and get a damn job!” That was until I had a work related accident, which put me out of work and inevitably out on the street. I needed to be smacked upside the head with 2 X 4 made out of reality before I could realize the universe did not evolve around little ole’ me.
Writing is an art. Writing is a learned art form. Writers write books. Everyone is not a writer. An author of a novel, prefers to pen novels, writers of non-novels are partial to well… non-novels. Neither writers nor authors are “idiots”. As I understand the word “idiot” it means: an utterly foolish or senseless person (Dictionary.com). The only people who could possibly be classified as “idiots”, as the term applies to writing, and as I see it, could be the impassioned individual who never picks up a pen, because that my friends is foolish and senseless.
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This has been a… View From My Loft