Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Makes a Writer?

People often act all fuzzy and glittery when they say that they've got a writer friend. And that their friend is one of the best they've ever read, they ever will read for that matter. There's nothing wrong with that. I know, that's a disclaimer but I just have to let that one out before I go on with this stint.

Words are, of course, somewhat hard to transform into works that people will actually (or honestly) understand. You can know all the worlds in a language, memorize the dictionary with every possible usage but you will find it hard to piece them all up together in one (or multiple) coherent, sensible bundle. Yes, writers go under a deal (not a lot for all, not a little for others) of thinking, scrapping and editing their thoughts and ideas about the vast menu of topics to dip their calloused fingers into.

So, what makes a writer? Well, there are writers that are straight-edge fact-wielding blitzers who opt for brevity and clarity though some extend for an in-depth view through their 20-20 (or assisted) vision. Many of those people are hardcore journos, believing that what is worth putting out there may very well mean a libel case, a bullet or both if the reader does not find the work entertaining. Loving the profession may mean more than just cuts and bruises, integrity wise.

Then there are writers that are from a lineage of old romantics. Poets are usually seen as either overly-romantic or overly-sad, playing the spectrum quite well if you may ask me. Still, when was the last time you've read some literary work by a fine poet?

Also, another breed of writers excel at the art of making short stories that may be adapted into movies, screen plays and other performance platform. Though, there are some works from this pool that are better in their printed or digitized version. Entries that leave you wishing for parallel universes or maybe multiverses, zombie infestations eradicated by humongous mutated fish dogs, or hardcore crime novels that you wish to be part of are but a few examples. Who says the imagination needs a long warm up for an explosive end? Cramming those things in 5 minute mindfucks is not a simple thing.

Ever seen those amazing commercials or those funny prints on magazines and newspapers? A fiendishly talented group of writers are in neck-deep shit trying to spew out copy after copy of apocalyptic creative madness. They are probably the workhorses of the money making ad agencies, stomping their shoes in the minds of the viewers with the onslaught of surprising goodness in their promotion copies.

Novelists are not to be forgotten. Simply, because you may have been wanting to be one for the longest time. It's just that, you don't believe much in your ability to be one. Wanting to be in the ranks of the all-time greats in writing can never be a thing too far fetched.

What makes a writer is what everything that makes a normal human being. There are episodes of happiness: blissful days that seem to have no bounds, fits of anger that drive loved ones away. A writer experiences guilt, transforms it into characters or plots of such gray sadness and regret. Hate is a feeling also translated into literary works, the breaths of smoke and smell of gunpowder and images of irreparable damage. Awe, mystery, sweet longings and wishful thinkings are a few things, too. In a nut shell, there are no specific qualities that writers possess that you may not already have.

A writer can be a jeepney driver, gangster, thug, pickpocket, crying lady, firefighter, service crew, fastfood manager, straggler, a shickered old man, bigot, secret racist, convict, freedom fighter, nerd, bully, geek, politician, teacher, priest, soldier, rebel, call center agent, thief, internet zombie, adventurer, trailblazer, cyclist and any other occupation or title in between, beyond, under, over, near or chemically infused. Fuck the brands and overused stamps, that is why there are no exams for writer qualifications and certifications.

Yea, yea many people will argue that writers have a definite mix of things "this, that and whatnot" but they will be probably binge drinkers, weirdos and people with quite peculiar pet peeves. And of course, everyone can be a writer. I think the more valid thing that makes other prints or digitized snips, is the seamless piecing up of things to say, emotions to explore and ideas to cultivate.

Writers have their own poison of choice. There are no general prescriptions, only self-written notes for those forgetful and mental post-its for those gifted with the capacity to store them.

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