How Can I Be a Writer? I’m not ____

 

by Morgan S. Hazelwood

How Can I Be a Writer?

There are so many images of writers: smoking, coffee guzzling, depressed alcoholics pouring their hearts and souls into their words. Those grizzled, introverted men who know writing is their raison d’être*, their one, true calling!

I don’t look like that.

I don’t smoke, nor drink coffee**, and I rarely drink alcohol, even socially. I’m about as ungrizzled as a person can be***.

Plus, you know what? I don’t think of writing as ‘my calling.’ It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’d still be me, even if I stopped writing.

I have no better idea than you do about why we’re here, but the best I can figure out is that we’re here just for the experience points.

Yes, people who struggle daily against the oppression of depression can be writers. Your brain chemistry, no matter what you might struggle with, gives you insight into characters that no one else could write.

And those characters may be just what someone else needs to read, to know they’re not alone.

If you get medication or other treatments to help you cope better? That doesn’t take away your uniqueness, it just gives you something else to work with.

For those of us whose brain chemistries are naturally more cooperative? That’s okay.

Even if you’re not an introvert, relying on the written word to communicate coherently, doesn’t mean your words cannot have beauty in them.

Just because you’re not a “tortured artist” doesn’t mean your writing can’t be just as meaningful and insightful.

We all bring something different to the page, and that’s a good thing.

* Reason to be (in french).
**Or dark soda, I resort to Sunkist for my caffeine no more than 3Xs a week.
***At my age

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by Morgan Hazelwood. Morgan is currently working on the fantasy coming-of-age adventure Flesh and Ink. These days, when not writing, you can find her devouring book series on her kindle, hitting the gym, dressing up at local conventions, or feeding her web comic addiction. She also lends her voice to Anansi Storytelling – a radio-style podcast of folk tales from around the world.

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15 thoughts on “How Can I Be a Writer? I’m not ____”

  1. It’s not my calling, it’s my life. However, I’m not a alcoholic, tortured soul, either. I think if someone has something to say they can’t do in any other way but to write it on paper, they are a writer. To be an author is to put writing into a calling. Just don’t do it to be famous. Do it because you feel it. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree. Drinking, smoking and taking copious drugs isn’t for everyone, but in my opinion the compelling writer must delve into his/her imagination and find insight at whatever cost.

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  3. I am a self confessed writer. I fit into a couple of the stereotypes. I drink coffee and sown anti-depressants.
    But I wouldn’t be anything else…well maybe a lecturer but I can’t stand for 2 hours while I speak about something I am passionate about. Especially not to a room of fresh out of high school girls who just want to chatter and update their Facebook status while I teach.
    No I will write the texts, someone else can teach it. Now I just have to find a way to make someone pay for it. Anyone know of a poet laureate position vacant?

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  4. Thanks for this reminder. There is no merit in suffering just to make me a better writer. I’m a better writer when I take my meds, get some fresh air, and talk to people now and then.

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  5. This is a perfect discussion piece. I’ve found that the label of “the writer” being synonymous with the “tortured artist” can be damaging. You’re suddenly expected to behave in a certain way. Others stop seeing you for who you really are. Every human being, no matter who they are and what they’ve been through, whether they’re a writer, a painter, an engineer, a dental hygienist or a bus driver, has a story to tell. Depression is not a prerequisite to meaningful storytelling. Your post is a great reminder that effective writing comes from the human experience as a whole, not just a fragment of it.

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  6. Loved the insights you shared. Just had to let you know. The writing for me is a thing that lures me to it in a strange and wonderful way but I can and have put it down from time to time. Thing is, I have to admit I keep coming back to it. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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