Simply, I have no idea how to write. I’ve spent probably zero hours learning about it, save for the English classes, but those are for grammar (innocence in or disregard for which, for some reason, is a source of embarrassment in some societies). Zero seminars, camps, weekend courses, what-have-yous. It’s amusing, however, that I always have ideas to write about, for example this admission that I know squat.
There are no buts, except for ‘BUT thankfully people know how to read’, and some people like what I write. I do not expect them to call me a writer –I cannot stand for them, and I can’t pretend to have a history kissing dead authors (aren’t writers bred, sort of?), so I do not dress myself the label. I am a freelance worker at best, with some work published (a little sweaty to write, and it reeks) in (on? for?) two magazines.
I compiled the slips of rags and put them behind my resume as my portfolio. The said portfolio proves that I have done work, and not writing ability, specifically (because there are people who read more carefully than others, perhaps). My resume, I decorated with a picture (A very handsome portrait of me, so it helps with the lie), a verse, and the choicest truths. Nowhere in those two pages of my resume would one see a journalistic background (seminars, camps, weekend courses, whatever). I took up something medical in college, then flew for an airline, did a little more slavery at a magazine (hence the published credits, which are advertorials), and then moved on to marketing, where I was forced to leave after exactly six months (good riddance, in my mind).
Here now, talking, is a freelance worker (freelancer?).
But what makes a writer? I have asked myself this for months, and thinking about it brought me to: a degree in writing makes one a writer, kind of, because all job vacancies that call for a writer require a degree in anything related to writing (but this is only for the convenience of not having to teach syntax and grammar, but not the more ‘playful’ parts of putting pen to paper); a portfolio is definite proof, sort of, (again, it’s only proof of working history. I have a portfolio but as I said above, this means nothing to some people); or a published book. Maybe. You will need a story for that.
Let us leave that unanswered.
I asked a friend. Well, I asked friends, and only one responded (sidebar: I might have to uncouple from some people). The friend, who is a writer, said that if whatever crap one craps on paper is good enough to be published, then it will make him a writer. Let me think: my published works were assigned to me, a process which was not along the lines of a ‘OH MY, THIS HAS TO BE READ –NO, EXPERIENCED, BY THE WORLD’-type of life-changing event. In my head, what he told me was ‘you have to be discovered’, and by that premise, I am not a writer. I applied to be an intern, and then got assignments and then wrote. No one ejaculated halfway through any of the advertorials. The other magazine I got published in (for? on?) initially assigned the article to one person, and then that person was very busy at that time so he tapped me on the shoulder, ‘Hey, can you write a thousand and five hundred words in a week?’ Sure, why not, I said, without even asking him what the magazine is and what the article should be about. It was a hungry time for me, and it was probably impractical and risky to ask questions. Then I remembered that I was not dealing with an underground art dealer hocking Nazi artifacts, so I asked. ‘Playboy, about music’, he said. Sure, why not, I have an iPod.
A requirement and an accident. Both I did for free. Do I have to be paid for articles to call myself a writer?
These anecdotal pieces of evidence are not fit for songs, to be played as my coffin is lowered into a grave. In short, nothing is wonderful about having been assigned anything. Well, in my head, or am I being romantic about it? Do I want a wayward gust of wind produced by the flapping of wings of a black dragon as it ascends to accidentally blow my handwritten musings on half-burnt parchment paper, fly it across the world, and straight to into a window and neatly onto the table of an unknowing editor, who happens to be the best editor in the world? Bullet holes left and right, I know, but would you blame me? Only for being idealistic. Also, in the dragon scenario I would have been dead.
You all can agree that what I really want is validation, and I believe the same is true for each of you. Do I need a writing degree? More meaningful articles? Less questions or more? Do I have to validate myself?
I have to admit that I am missing form, and I write this way because I speak this way and I think this way. My brain is a stack of hay, and I wish for not one needle in that image (see how messy I write?). Do I need a mentor for this? Or is life enough of a mentor and I should shut my mouth and keep a diary and a list?
Eh. Volunteers are welcome. I guess.