I’ve been contemplating for awhile about what truly makes a writer. Because for a long time when I told people that I was an English major and that I wanted to be a publisher, they assumed right away that I was a writer. I’d then have to explain to them that I’m not a writer and then told them that I wanted to be a publisher because I could help the people who can write achieve their dreams. But there were always the people who told me that I was a writer and just hadn’t found my niche yet. It took me some time to realize what they meant.
Because here’s the thing: Even though I don’t have worlds floating around my head with fully developed characters who have backstories and futures, or because I can’t make the thoughts in my head flow through the pen into an artistic poem doesn’t mean that I’m not a writer. Because what the hell am I doing with this blog if I’m not? And what the hell am I doing with the articles that get posted in the Advocate on campus if I’m not?
I’m just a different kind of writer.
So we’re back to the original question. What makes a writer?
So I went on a search for some answers and found a few interesting explanations as to what helps create a writer. I found it HERE. I’m only touching on a few of these, but I think they’re all pretty neat.
First, having an “odd-ball” childhood. I always kind of feel like I had kind of a weird childhood and that I was kind of a weird child. Mum, Dad? Are you reading? Can you vouch for this? I mean. People tell me all the time that I acted more like an adult as a child than as a child, and perhaps this is enough ground to give me a multitude of things to write about for this blog. I definitely believe that using your past as a source for your writing creates a gateway to express something for someone else to connect to and enjoy. Maybe being a strange child will unlock some sort of inner poet someday for me.
Next, writers are equally unorganized and organized all at the same time. Yep. This is definitely a thing for me. The writer of the original post says that “a writer’s mind works in organized chaos.” If there is too much chaos in one’s mind, nothing productive will come out of a writing session, but on the other end, if there is too much structure, the writing will lack passion and will mean less to the writer and its readers. I love post-it notes and lists, but they have to be scattered or I can’t work. Pencils and pens should be parallell with desk edges, but my paper can be skewed. The more mane-like my hair becomes, the more crazy I’ve become and I absolutely love it. These things are all things that happen in my head and it’s a beautiful disaster.
Finally, I’m combining two: Writers like simplicity AND writers are observant. Someone asked me yesterday what I liked to do for fun. I told them that if I can have the whole day to be snuggled up in a big blanket with a cup of tea and a book that I have yet to have a chance to read, my day would be made. But from that warm blanket, I will sit and analyze tiny things in a room between chapters of that book. Sometimes I can take in something as simple as a windowsill and connect twenty different things to it. I enjoy looking at things from different perspectives. So while yesterday I said in my blog that I was confused sometimes about why I didn’t go into psychology, I still understand why I love being an English major.
Obviously I think that there are an extreme amount of other things that make a writer, but bringing them all into a blog post would just turn you all away and then I’d lose you forever because you’ve decided that I’m long-winded about something that you really don’t care about.
So instead I’ll finish this up with a quote that my friend Abby put on my FB wall in September:
“First, a sense of attentiveness. Then wanting to hang around the language. If you look a word up in the dictionary and twenty minutes later you’re still wandering around in the dictionary, you probably have the most basic equipment you need to be a poet.” -Billy Collins
If you know me even in the slightest, you know that I love to learn about the most random things. Perhaps the winds will change for me and one day I’ll be able to continue as a writer but form it into something more artistic. And just maybe, this blog will be the perfect place to create that.
I’ll leave you with thoughts of writing and the beauty that words on paper can create.
So until tomorrow,