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I am nothing. I am a single grain of sand amongst billions. I am a single voice within a crowd. I am human, I am god, I am here, and this is what I have to say:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fundamentals

I just read this over on Rebecca Emrich's Blog Living a Life of Writing http://www.rebeccasbook.blogspot.com/. Apparently, someone had sent her an email regarding her thoughts on what makes a writer able to call themselves a writer. The email disturbed me enough to write a rebuttal that I feel deserves it's own spot on my blog that I would like to open up for conversation.

"To suggest to such a degree that writers are anyone who writes is absurd. The only possible way to prove oneself as a writer is to make enough money to be self sustaining. Otherwise, there is no hope for the "writing career" of said writer. Only jokers are willing to sacrifice themselves for a dream. To many people fancy themselves writers and spend time poking at a computer. They don;t have a job to refer to, other than their dream. I say again it is a dream... no money they are not a writer, they are a dreamer. Dreamers need to come down from their clouds and get a real job. I suspect that writers who don't make money have someone who backs their delusions up.... I repeat again all writers without money are dreamers."

So unless I missed the jist here, the emailer is trying to say that the only way you can call yourself, and expect to be recognized, as a writer, is by the amount of money you make? I disagree, for numerous reasons.

There are plenty of writers that do so only for the pure joy and love of writing. They have other financial means of sustaining themselves. The author of the email was quick to say that they believe someone else often supports them. This may be true in some cases, but it is also equally likely they support themselves with another, or even, multiple jobs and should also be acknowledged.

Personally, I know more than one writer that I would classify as a writing hobbyist, as they are not writing for means of an income but means of personal entertainment. Alot of times they may submit their work to magazines that do not pay or use it for other purposes. The simple fact alone that they are not making money with their writing, does not invalidate it by any means, and such a statement, I must say, is absurd.

I could go on and on about the many publishers in existance that do not pay when they publish submitted work. Yet they have no trouble getting submissions. Obviously publishing in itself is a form of recognition for any writer.

I could also write a small novel talking about the snowball effect that Rebecca mentioned, but I'll just say, everyone has to start somewhere.

It is sad for me to read this person's comment and see that some people have such a narrow point of view. Sadder still, is that they feel so strongly about it they must write discouraging and harsh words to portray their feelings. But the real issue here is the fact that the emailer, who is certainly entitled to his/her opinion, is a bit ignorant on the topic and should have educated themselves on it before portraying personal opinion as fact.

As I wrote before in my guest blog for Rebecca, back in June, if you are writing just for money you and your work alike will both show for it. And more likely than not the work will be terrible.

Above all else the main reason authors succeed is because of their passion to write and not their desire to become rich. Look at some statistics, unless you are a select few writers as a majority are not wealthy.

So I ask you, if you aren't writing for money alone, how is it logical that money can be the only measure to which you can mark your success?

If you aren't familiar with Rebecca Emrich's work or her blog, go check it out. Here's a link: Living a Life of Writing

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm Back!

Finally, home from what turned out to be an extended trip to the harsh, bitter cold north (to be fair, I may be exaggerating the coldness a bit), I feel like I really need to touch base here.

Sorry folks, no original work update today. I am behind, behind, behind on everything that I could possibly be behind in. More pressing, however, I am very much in need of a nice long nap. I'll get around to catching up on things I've missed over the next couple of days. You'll be hearing more from me soon, but for now--Good night.