Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Unlikeable Writer

First I should apologize. My uncle is a writer, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry if you've encountered him and he's put you down.

Writers are usually invisible. If we're lucky to have supportive parents, then great. Mine weren't supportive. My interest in storywriting was to them hopefully a phase. I mean every kid has an imagination and creates. That's what lego is for; that's what Barbie dolls are for. But I mean to actually do this as a career? Naturally there is more to the story, and one of these days I will write that story. I have part of it written down, but it's not the whole story. Basically, my parents hoped I would choose something more lucrative and more professional. Yes, there are professional writers, and yes, writing is a profession, but they were hoping for something more traditionally professional, like a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher. Something with more weight to it. Or maybe even a business person.

So yes, I was very happy when I found out my uncle was a writer. I wanted to be one. Not so much because he was one, but because I wrote stories. Then after elementary school, I stopped because of my lack of support from parents and peers too. (Of course, I had never stopped creating, so in a sense that writing drive never died). Then after high school, that writing bug was still there and I wanted to write and I did. I kept my work hidden. I chose to go into teaching, but still, I took a writing course on the side. It was an option. Now I'm not a teacher and I'm a writer. The friends I had during high school aren't my friends. Some of my family aren't my family. Of course, I have new friends, and now I have supportive writing friends. This is more than ten years after high school. Forget about the friends I had in elementary. I had at the most two.

What's my point in telling you all this? Writers come from humble circumstances. At least most do. A lot of people don't get us, or understand us. We read people nobody's ever heard of. Bukowksi, Kerouac? Who? Yes, they're famous, but you'd be surprised how many people don't know who those people are. My parents don't, my family doesn't. Most of my "friends" don't. If someone I met from high school comes along and I say something along the lines of "My writing is sort of like Kerouac's." There reply is "Cool. Who's Kerouac?" And it's only cool because now that we're out of high school, they're not cool anymore, so they want to get into my good graces, but that's for another blog entry one day.

My slave labour job, nobody knows who Kerouac is. The people I serve don't know who Kerouac is. Are they stupid? No. They're not in the same world I am, and my world is really really small compared to their world. That's what writers have to live with. Most of us have nobody who shares our passion or understands why we would wake up at 2am just to read a poem. I mean why would you read a poem? You did that in high school. It's like gym class. You do it once, just to get your high school credits, after that fuck that shit.

My uncle grew up poor, but he wrote, and after he became successful, he forgot where he came from. He forgot the struggles, in fact, ignores them. He becomes unnerved when a restaurant doesn't have a real tablecloth on it. Becomes unnerved if the pizza isn't like the pizza he got in Italy. I mean, my goodness, just be thankful you're getting pizza, or getting food. Be grateful you have food on your plate because there were days when you didn't have food on your plate. As writers, we're thankful, we're grateful. We're grateful when people read our work. He's expectant. You have to read his work because it's the best. If he's the best, then I'm the best. I mean really, screw that crap, because the best are those whom we follow or model. People like Hemingway, or Tolstoy. To me, those are the best, and those we can never hope to emulate.

With so many talented people, writers are grateful when someone comes up to them, holds the book in their hand and asks a writer to sign it. I know I am. I mean you chose to pass that new Stephen King book. I mean wow. I mean why? Stephen King is awesome! You wanted to try something new? And you liked what you read? Well, I thank you, dear reader, I really thank you! Because I'm a poor boy and nobody loves me, but you made my day, like that kid who's on the street selling lemonade that nobody really wants to buy and if someone does buy it, they either know the kid, or just trying to make the kid feel better. Writers are like that kid with the lemonade.

So if you're going to be a writer, remember where you came from. Remember all the hard work you've done. Remember all the people who've helped you obtain your success; and help people obtain success. Don't just turn up your nose at everyone and hang out with losers who do the same. Just because you're rich doesn't mean you're cool, just makes you a stuck-up bitch.

No comments:

Post a Comment