There are the times where writers can’t write. Or they won’t write. They just don’t want to do it. I’m no different. You can’t make me write; never could make myself do it. Except for those 300,000 essays college professors made me write. I wrote them.
They were probably poorly written. I don’t remember half of the crap I wrote in college. Mainly I put a lot of quotations around what smart people said in other books, and regurgitated what I thought the professors wanted to read. Because I needed the class to graduate.
Most of the time the professors passed me. Except for the writing intensive math class I took. Who knew, talented word slinging will not help you pass a math class if you don’t understand the equations. One cannot bullshit their way into passing a math class, no matter how much talent rests in their hands.
Writing is the only art that any person on the street can do because it only requires one real skill.
Go to a cafe, coffeeshop, or anywhere out in public. Pick a stranger, and ask the stranger one question.
The All Important Question: Can you read?
If the stranger answers, “Yes, I can read,” guess what?
He or she can be a writer. They can wake up one day and put a few words down on Microsoft Word, or on their fancy Mac App, or perhaps they prefer to old school handwrite in cursive onto a leather bound journal. Because this is how they become a writer. No matter the medium, computer or journal, they now call themselves a “writer.”
If I went into a guitar shop, and pulled a Fender Stratocaster off the wall and began to awkwardly strum the strings, can I call myself a musician? No. Because they are only strings on a guitar to me. I don’t know the notes. I don’t even know how to properly hold a guitar.
I’d probably just lay the fancy Fender on the floor and strum away until they kicked me out their fun music shop. When they do kick me out I get to shout things like, “I’m Jimi Hendrix, the best guitar player in the world. And I’m not sorry I broke your expensive guitar with my awesome shredding. Because I’m a musician!”
The same theory applies to painting. I can’t paint. I can barely draw stick figures. I have become an expert at drawing school buses. This makes me a school bus artist. Not the kind of school bus artist where I actually draw on school buses. This is called defiling state property with graffiti. Graffitiing school property is illegal. Plus my son and I like school buses, I don’t see a need to “paint” on them.
Becoming a graffiti artist is something I aspire to be in my spare time. There’s a pimp who lives in the alley behind my house, and he rotates prostitutes every few months. I would like to graffiti his building with the words: “GET OUT OF MY TOWN, DRUG DEALER.”
I’ve decided this endeavor would also be illegal and I could get shot by the drug dealing pimp. Overall, this is a horrible idea. My graffiti dreams have been laid to rest for awhile.
Here I am, sitting on a plain blanket. I’m a writer not writing. The stranger at the cafe/coffeeshop is writing. He’s telling all his friends how he’s a writer. Because writing is simple.
Words are forever filling up my head. Those words spill forth onto a page. When I’m done compiling them onto a blank page I give them the good ol’ read through. It’s during this time I’m not caring how I left out an important “a” or “the” somewhere in between all those words on the now overflowing page. Then I hit the magic publish button.
And I’m a writer.
Easiest thing I’ve ever done.
Or is it?
Writing has never been easy for me.
I pour my worst days into shot glasses and line them up on a stained wooden bar.
People gather around and scream in unison, “Another round!”
And I pour more shots….
People just keep drinking shot after shot after shot.
The shot glasses are filled with ounces of my flesh…
arteries from my heart…
and fragments of my soul.
I serve them up willingly. Round after round.
Writing isn’t simple. It can’t be. It’s the hardest damn thing I’ve ever done.
If you love any art enough, you’ll pour your existence into creating it.