Moved, Inspired and Saddened

I was incredibly moved by a blog I read titled, The Difference Between a Writer and Someone Who Writes by Eliot Rose. If you haven’t read it, you should. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Read it? Good. Was it not immaculate? I thought it was. I savored the language and style. I delighted in the stabs at the anti-prose of social networking and reveled in the analogy of a lie. The bursts of brilliance in this piece forced me to blink at times. I may have even gasped.

So there it is: The power of a poignant, heart-felt write that describes the passion and despair that is being a writer. And for all my admiration and praise, I don’t connect with it. It’s too touchy-feely. It’s too exposed. It’s too… girly. It’s a beautiful, naked woman strutting down the street. Lovely and intriguing, but why?

Loving your art does not mean you must bare yourself to the world and “Why I Write” pieces are as copious as those who think they can write. Every writer has done this at some time or another and I’m no different. But it is word masturbation; self-consumed and ultimately, the only person who is satisfied is the masturbator.

Do it if you must, but do it in privacy and if you must share it, push it out in a veiled way, but don’t splay yourself naked to be abused, misunderstood or worse… ignored. Being a writer does not mean you must expose every inch of literary skin, lovely though it may be.

Just tell a good story. The rest will be acknowledged.

Addendum: After writing this, I read another blog post from Eliot Rose, An Open Letter From Girls Like Me to Guys Like You. You should read it. It doesn’t change anything but it does show she’s got moxy. I will have to keep up with her and see what she says next. Voyeuristic of me, but I do love a good turn of phrase.


2 thoughts on “Moved, Inspired and Saddened

  1. Mitch,
    This is a gloves off, fair, and honest tale of a difficult writing challenge. I knew when I began reading, you were coming from a positive experience. Good on you, mate!

    As I gear up for NaNoWriMo, I found your suggestions insightful, practical and funny. I will embrace the outline wearing a metaphoric hazmat suit and if I discover the concept works, decontaminate myself.

    I also have an amazing spouse who frequently has to talk me out of corners where I’ve huddled sure I was a hack and had no business writing anything other than the grocery list. Then he recalls the spunky, high couraged, mischievous girl I used to be and demands her return. (This is what happens when you’ve known each other for 54 years.)

    I think you really were in better place for this challenge that the November one. Things you thought would allow you time, turned out to be frustrating. Your job situation was tough as you made a change in what you were doing (BTW Cliff is working his way into his new section. He really is upset that the IT team he’d worked so hard to assemble over 5 years is defunct now. Talk about grumpy!) And you discovered that you were not writing what you thought you’d be writing. You also set very high goals for yourself and when you didn’t meet them, it frustrated you.

    So–end of Rah, Rah, stuff to say I think you are amazing–100 roses! And you have had a major break through as you see Lynn just loves when you show your love through any kind of flower.

    Loved this!


  2. So you are doing Nanowrimo this year? Exellent! I have promised Lynn I would not… it was a costly undertaking last year, and I won’t put my family through it again this year. I am in your corner though!
    Love to hear the concept you are going to work with.

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