On Tuesday, Jules picked up where we left off on the Blog Tour (see my previous post), and gave us some insight into her blog writing process. I am always fascinated to hear about other people’s creative processes, especially other writers, since I don’t follow a particular method myself, other than to get words on a page and hope they make sense to someone else.
What made me sad (and I told her this so it’s not like I’m telling tales behind her back) is that she kept referring to herself as “not a real writer”. It’s a phrase I hear too often. In fact, up until last year, I called myself the same thing.
We tend to romanticize artists in first-world society. We picture painters, musicians, writers, singers, dancers, all as undernourished, sallow, pale, chainsmoking alcoholics with some God-gifted talent that tortures them until they feel no other choice but to bestow the fruits of their gifts upon society. We marvel at how someone, who appears to be as human as we are, has the ability to craft some type of magical work that captures emotions and spirits that seem to pinpoint to something inside of us better than we know ourselves. And only a chosen few of these creative visionaries are considered to be genuine. Those people who have an exhibit in a gallery are artists. Those who have a recorded song on the radio/iTunes are musicians. Those who have published a book are writers.
As humans, we have an innate need to create. It is in fact the reason we exist. You don’t think so? Then why are we all so obsessed with sex? Sex is the ultimate expression of creation. All forms of art are expressions of that instinct of creation. So maybe you don’t play an instrument, but you sing in the shower. Does it make you happy to do it? Then that makes you a singer, even if it’s only for those five minutes that you sing Livin’ On A Prayer in the shower.
You write a blog to bitch about your school, your office, your parents, your life? You tweet more than five tweets a day? Your Facebook statuses and text messages are longer than “OK”? You do these things every day? Guess what. You’re a writer. You write down words to express your feelings about a situation. That’s all we do. It’s that simple. There’s no correct way to do this, other than maybe to put more than five words together at a time.
You like cooking? You bake? You sew? Whatever it is – you’re creative. Just because you don’t get paid to do something, or have a wall full of accomplishments, or aren’t mobbed when you try to go to the grocery for a can of tuna doesn’t make your work any less valid than those people who get paid six and seven-figures of annual income to do basically the same thing.
In fact, if it weren’t for “non-writers” like Jules, there would be nothing heartfelt or interesting to read on the internet. We would be subjected to dry news stories of current events. Two word tweets. Facebook statuses devoid of emotion. Snapchat. Like the saying goes, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. No two people have the same point of view about a situation. Yes, the internet is the place where everyone has an opinion, and even the ones we don’t like, we need to give them voice to say it. Create their bizarre art, illogical and out-of-sync and tune music. Someone out there will like what you do, even if it’s only you. I mean, that’s why I started writing blogs. For me, a blog is writer’s masturbation. It’s me writing about what I think in my voice. It makes me feel good to get it out there. And hey, if you like to watch, well that’s cool beans (as long as that’s the only thing you’re watching about me!).
So go ahead. Be a non-painter, non-singer, non-dancer, non-musician, or a non-writer. No creative work is every truly successful until after the death of its creator. Start crafting your legacy now, and without fear.