Monday, July 25, 2011

Writers Are Smart, and I'm Angry

I heard this in a conversation yesterday:  "She's so stupid she can't even add 2 + 2. I told her to take Creative Writing courses instead of math."

I am not good with snappy comebacks, and even if I were, the social setting would have precluded responding. I didn't want to be seen as creating a scene*. Besides, I know from experience that the speaker would say, "I didn't mean it that way."

A long history with said speaker has shown that he may like to believe he doesn't mean it that way, but he keeps saying things like that. I am skeptical of his self-knowledge, to say the least.

And yes, he knows I am a writer.

An angry, not stupid writer.

Obviously, as in all things in life, there is a spectrum. There's some really bad writing floating about, and more is put out every day thanks to ebooks and self-publishing.

All that means is there's more to wade through to get to the gems.

It does not mean that all, or even most writers are bad. Or dumb. Or anything else. Any more than a small percentage of fundamentalist maniacs with murder on their brains means that religion is inherently violent, or that a few teenagers who get drunk means that all youth is doomed to alcoholism.

I spend an hour, often closer to two every day reading science, philosophy, psychology; trying to get background for my writing. I read writing blogs trying to understand options, processes, and changing procedures in publishing.

I write. And write. And write, and strive to improve with whatever input I can coax and beg out of anyone who'll read my words.

You don't need to be a math teacher to be smart. You don't need a degree in physics. You do need a questioning mind that is open to -- no, actively seeking new information and new ways to see the world. A good writer spends their life doing just that.

Writers are smart. Talented, determined, brave, and above all, people who can face more rejection, more isolation, more years without any positive feedback on their dreams than any other profession I can think of.

Twitter.  #writersaresmart

I'm curious what you have to say in response to that offensive comment.

*why is it that when someone says or does something, it's always the person who takes them to task that's seen as 'causing a scene', and not the original offender?

No comments:

Post a Comment