Why did I agree to this?
Last week I stumbled upon a collection of links, all leading to blogs belonging to people who I go to college with. And I had a field day. I know these people, albeit vaguely, IRL, which makes seeing their Internet version all the more hilarious. I read through blogs for a couple of hours. I laughed through all of it.
But when I was reading the About sections, in which they described themselves using adjectives that I have never even heard of and that I had to Google, I noticed that all of them had one thing in common – they were ‘writers’. (Another thing that they had in common was citing themselves as the ‘greatest Potterhead alive’ or some variation thereof. Greatest Potterhead, ha! I bet half of them don’t even know the names of Luna’s boys. Or that Luna had children. Or who Luna is.)
Everyone is a writer. That’s not very difficult these days, when all they need is a blog and a Twitter bio that says they are one. It doesn’t matter whether they have interesting content, or if they can structure ideas into a way in which people can understand, or even if they can form five words into a sentence. The fact that they can, and are, transcribing their thoughts onto the Internet (or paper, if they’re old-fashioned) is enough, in their minds, to qualify them as a writer.
This is all a bit hypocritical, because I have a blog, and the things that I post aren’t always eloquently written. Well, they’re never eloquently written. You’ve read three paragraphs of my writing. Does it look like I am capable of writing good stuff? But, in the past, I wanted to be a writer. It started when I was about nine years old and realised that there was money in books. And so I wrote a lot then, as practice, and I write a lot now, because I don’t have very much else to do, but, while my nine year-old self would have had no problems with claiming so, I am not a writer. I am just a person, who sometimes writes things for fun.
No one does this with other professions (except maybe photography). They don’t claim to be a teacher just because they taught their grandmother how to use a computer, or driver because they drove their kids to school. Writer, for the most part, is a profession, and doing something because you’ve finished all your homework and are bored, but can’t watch TV because someone else is, is not a profession.
And with everyone, with their terrible spellings and punctuation, claiming to be a writer, actually being a writer, an author, has lost its charm. Before better health care made the population greater and the Internet made everything easier, it was hard to make your work available to everyone, and so a lot of writers, who are very famous today, ended up spending their lives unrecognised and broke. And yet they wrote, because they were good and because they cared about the art. Producing good literature was something that they strove for their entire life.
No one cares about good literature anymore. Everyone just wants to be a writer because right now it’s the most cool thing that you can be. These people have all read TFIOS or something and decided that since that is the best thing that has happened to them in their seventeen or whatever years of existence, they must be the ones to provide the next generation of readers with what they will consider the best thing (Thanks, John Green. There was one thing that I was good at, and now I can’t do it anymore because of how mainstream it is.). But then, in a couple of years, the phase will pass, and everyone will drop their pens (or laptops, but not actually because laptops are expensive and if you drop them they will break) like hot potatoes and pick up whatever the next thing is.
For now, I suppose I’ll just to deal with everyone being a writer, and get myself a job which does not also mean ‘doer of a thing’. Royal correspondent, maybe?