Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Write, Therefore ...

Anne, someone I do not know other than by her comment to one of my previous posts, commented on a comment left by L.A. Dave.

"Sorry Dave. Unlike you 'writers', I have a real job. I have a life, and have better things to do write a blog. Maybe it's because you have no life or real relationships with real people that you write these things," she wrote.

Now, some of you may say that I'm playing right into Anne's hands here. That people who post pissy comments that belittle other people are just starved for attention and want to feel better about themselves by acting superior.

Eh, maybe.

But this post isn't about Anne, it's about writers, of which I am one.

One of the axioms of the writing world is "Writers write." Deep, huh? But it's true.

Writers write for the same reasons painters paint and actors act. It's what we do. It's our means of expression. And some of us are lucky enough to get paid for it. (If I had written Anne's quote above for one of my clients, I would have made $20.50. Dave, who has some good clients!, would have made $41. Not too shabby, eh?)

But it's really not about the money. Words are our life. We edit everything we see because we've been trained and because bad grammar makes us shudder. Because there's order to language, but there's also art.

Do you have a favorite book? Of course you do. Everyone does. And if you've ever read something that's really moved you and thought, "I could do that," I invite you to try. It is much harder than it seems.

Words entertain us, words inform us, words are the lifeblood of civilization. If you can't read and write, life is exponentially more difficult. My friend Henry's father couldn't read. I never really considered the implications of illiteracy until Henry called me one day on vacation, upset because he father had been missing for a day. Turns out, after dropping Henry off at a golf course, he'd been unable to find his way back to his host's home because he couldn't read the street signs.

But I digress. (We writers sometimes do that.)

Blogs are an outlet for writers. Everyone has their favorite blogs, just as they have favorite books. And if you visit a blog on a regular basis, you do so because you like the writing. There's no other reason to visit. Sure, you may agree or disagree with the views of the writer, but if the writing sucked, would you even bother?

Nope.

So, to answer Anne's accusation, I do have a real job. I'm an editor. But I write because it's important to me. And I blog because it forces me to write every day. The Annes of the world are welcome to read what I write. And they're even welcome to post their views. But just because I write it doesn't mean that you have to read it. Or like it. You just have to respect my right - my need - to do it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

Hey, I enjoy it.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thank you, Jeff. That's very kind.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"quote"
Blogs are an outlet for writers. Everyone has their favorite blogs, just as they have favorite books. And if you visit a blog on a regular basis, you do so because you like the writing. There's no other reason to visit. Sure, you may agree or disagree with the views of the writer, but if the writing sucked, would you even bother?

Nope."/quote"

For once I agree with you. I HATE your liberal diatribes, which you've recently kept to a minimum. Thank You. But, I do enjoy the way you write. SO... Where's the screenplay, book, novel, e-book, hell at this point I'd settle for a novella........

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

I don't believe that this blog was created for the purposes of showing off Beth's paying material. Not to speak for her of course, just extrapolating.

I, on the other hand, lay a strip of text anytime, anywhere. Check it, playa:

There once was a poster named Anon
Of Liberal screed he or she was not fond.
For reasons that yet defy clarity
Anon chose Beth's blog with regularity
instead of 23,999,999 other fish in the pond.

---

Screenplay, book, novel
What's all this liberal [jazz]?
Bookmarks list not full.

---

Thank you, try the veal.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm diggin' my haiku, Eth. Thanks. I suddenly feel the urge to wear a black turtleneck and a beret and play bongos.

9:09 PM  

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