Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Defining a Writer

There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.  ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

I have owned a journal since the 3rd grade. I still have that journal, and from time to time (and when I need a really good laugh,) I open it up for a little read. Owning a journal is not so much a big deal to most, but for me it defined who I am, who I used to be, and who I hoped to become.

You see, I have always reveled in the written word - whether it was a classic author who tempted my imagination or my own simple scribbles. I am never without a book or two, (or three.) I write once if not two times daily in  this blog. I write press releases most days. I write scripts, speeches, quotes, you name it. I keep a prayer journal, a poetry journal, and an old trunk FULL of old scraps of paper with ideas and short stories. I have video tapes full of packages I edited (package is a broadcaster's term for a story.) On those tapes, I have entire newscasts (because I was the producer, I pretty much wrote the whole thing, on a daily basis.) I have magazines upon magazines and newspaper clippings with my work on it.  My degree is in journalism.

I am, for better or for worse, a writer. (Yes, I actually get PAID to do this.)

Before you click your tongue or get too judgemental, I write in broadcast style - sorry. Which means, I am conversational. You can see the difference if you pop over to my sister's blog. She writes more like a print person.  I spent 5 years learning that style, then using ONLY that style forever. Many times, what you see is exactly what I would say to you. I want to speak directly to you. Crazy thing is - Punctuation and caps are not considered when writing in broadcast style. The above sentence would look more like this: MANY TIMES... WHAT YOU SEE IS EXACTLY WHAT I WOULD SAY TO YOU//

(If this style of writing bothers you, I do apologize!)

What is fascinating about writing these days is that everyone considers themselves a writer in some form or another. I LOVE it, I really do. It is fun to see friends begin to tackle something that  is wonderful for their self expression, great to exercise the mind and finally because it gives people a sense of accomplishment. Whether or not the sentences flow, or the thoughts are profound or original does not matter -it's just a great thing to see people TRY.

Look at the amount of blogs surfacing on the Internet! I think it is a wonderful thing to see people share something that means so much to them (with the world.) People write for so many different reasons: To vent, to educate, to share, to work through, to remember... and on and on. Some share their art work, or their expertise.. some even sell things - for whatever reason, they have found a place in the world that is all their own.

The other phenomenon that gives me giggles are the "want to be published" folks. Man.. you are talking about a HARD industry to break into, unless.. of course.. you choose to "self publish." (Which means you put up all the money for the actual book, then try to sell it somewhere like - local bookstores or amazon.) To me - getting a book published and picked up by a major publishing house is like getting a role as a supporting actor or leading lady in a movie. It's the privileged few. Then again.. you never know unless you try.

It is a beautiful thing to see something like Ballet become second nature to most little girls. I remember when I was small, there were only a few of us who pursued the art. Now it is commonplace and almost expected. More and more art classes are popping up everywhere, and theater is an excellent resource in most communities. The one other art form that is slowly creepy up is writing. FINALLY it is cool to hang out in libraries and carry a journal. I am thrilled to see the changes. (I remember taking a creative writing class once, and my friends in school were like - "WHAT?" They were busy with softball, you see.)

So to all of you budding writers and to those of you waaay more accomplished than many of us will ever be - this post is dedicated to you.

Because.. isn't that what all writers do? Thank someone... ;-)

12 comments:

Dawn said...

You have been awarded The Versatile Blogger Award - Check it out here :) http://dawnsgoodies.blogspot.com/2010/10/versatile-blogger-award.html

Cheeseboy said...

I enjoyed this post and I do like your writing style. In fact, I like it better than most. You use actual words to make a point, rather than bold or caps, which I think takes more talent.

Anyway, I don't have any ambitions to be published. Just to be asked to write for Saturday Night Live. I don't think that is too much to ask.

Robin said...

You are right about getting published. It is tough. I follow some published writers, agents, etc. and the more I learn, the more I know I need to learn. It is like this big circle. However, as you said, you will never know if you don't try!

Foxy said...

OMG, jealous! I want your job!!

Leanne said...

Augh . . . I don't necessarily want YOUR job, because I know there is NO WAY on this EARTH that I could even remotely do what you do (I am in awe of you, constantly). I love your style of writing, with or without caps.

After reading this, I have to admit - I've got that big ol'pit tin the stomach telling me, "Who the heck do I think I am? Do I think I could be published?" Augh... (wait, I said that already. GEES - SEE what I mean? I'm BAD at this!!) In the meantime, I'm just gonna keep on telling my stories, the way I know how (with caps, exclamation points, bolds and italics...it's more colorful that way, don't you think?) ;0

LOVE YA!!!! :) :) :)

Ruby@Ruby'sMusings said...

I adore your writing style....but then in a way that is often how I write, as if the reader is right there with me, sipping a cup of coffee or tea and shooting the breeze. I just write from the heart and allow the fingers to fly. Good or bad.

I never thought as myself as a writer, but a blogger...then a had a few new people come into my life and tell me I was indeed a writer....that blew me away...not sure I shall ever believe it, but it was fun to hear.

Thanks by the way for stopping by and the wonderful comment you left for me!! <3

Heather said...

Yes, I'm one of those crazy folks wanting to get published one day... even scarier thought is that I'm one of those crazy folks wanting to be published as a children's writer. Am I mad?!? Okay, you don't have to answer that question...

cornflakegirl74 said...

I really enjoy your style of writing as well and am so happy that you are able to make a living doing what you do--and love!--best. There's nothing quite like seeing your name in print, is there? The bright lights of Broadway have always appeared to me in the shape of a byline :)

I try not to get too discouraged about whether or not I will ever get published. Blogging has really renewed this passion to write again and that has been the greatest gift. I agonized over my posts when I first started, terrified that my readers (all five of them) would criticize my writing style... and now I love hitting the "publish" button.

Blogs like yours (and this post in particular) remind me why I started to do this in the first place... and how much I love to be a part of this community. Thank you for this :)

Mama Hen said...

Hey Nicole, thank you for your sweet comment and get better wishes for Little Chick. I just want her to feel good again! The book in the giveaway is actually good for your niece. Something to think abaout. I love stories with a lesson and this one really is great. It is up to you! Anyway, this post is super! I also have kept a journal since I was ten. I still have them and it is really fun to look at them. There are so many different stules of writing. You are an excellent writer and it is always a joy to stop by your blog! Have a great night!

Mama Hen

TV's Take said...

Writers, wanna be writers it's a big world. I too appreciate seeing Mom's learn to express themselves and what this community means to them. Thanks for sharing about your style - it's great and congrats on your success as a professional writer. Question: have you self published?

Nicole said...

TV- No, I am not interested in being published. All of my articles are work related and are only in magazines and newspapers.

Cassandra said...

I've never written anything worth publishing. Maybe someday, when I've written something really amazing... if that ever happens. But for now it's just a fantasy my mom loves to play out for me. Haha.

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