And apparently it’s a good job it isn’t.
Though I write as part of my job I would never call myself a writer. Not yet. Though I hope one day.
I will leave that prestigious mantle to those who deserve it. To those who inspire me daily whether that is people I interact with on social media, authors whose books I am reading, a musical maestro who has written a beautiful lyric, or someone that has a written something cracking that has just caught my eye.
Lately there has been a few comments (mostly on LinkedIn by the resident trolls) who like to send people horrible messages saying that they should not be calling themselves a ‘writer’ or a ‘copywriter’ due to a spelling mistake they have spotted. Or a grammatical error. Or god forbid, an erroneous apostrophe.
Though I have not (yet) been the one on the receiving end of such delightful discourse I feel the need to set a few things straight.
First up, before I get my ranty pants on
All people, in all walks of life. make mistakes at some point. And writers are no different. In fact, many of the writers I follow are full of daily angst, never believing their work is polished enough to be let loose on the awaiting public. They are the biggest set of highly polished perfectionists I have seen. But when you have looked at content over and over, it is easy to read what you think is there or miss a pesky lil’ comma.
Imposter syndrome beats many writers daily. And it is not up to Miss Defence Lawyer or Mr Construction Manager to tell anyone whether they should be a writer or not. Even if they have committed three hours trawling through the aforementioned writer’s portfolio and profile to try and find some flaws (man, that’s some sad dedication to a pointless cause).
Seriously, go do some beer yoga or something and find some zen.
There is one glaring thing that repeatedly slaps me across the chops with these ‘people’ and their comments – a very misinformed and misguided presumption that writers just correct spellings and grammar. They just amble around with a red pen, school teacher style, and add in commas and correct wierd spellingz.
Oh hell no.
Anyone who has ever read a book surely understands that is not the case.
Writing is about honing a message,
structuring a plot,
understanding and writing in an appropriate tone of voice.
It is about understanding your audience and their needs,
being able to cut out the waffle (I am clearly exceptionally pro at this, no?)
aligning the message to the intended purpose.
It is selling a product or service,
transforming jargon filled nonsense into plain language
And often, fighting for the needs of the end user over the paying client.
You get my drift?
And there are so many purposes to their writing
Not just the initial ones that came to mind such as writing a book or an article. Writers are creating product descriptions, and testing these with users to make sure they give all the info needed. They are turning complex, jargon filled information into small, digestible chunks for Joe Bloggs (here’s looking at you Gov). They are using imagination, and well-honed skill to create other worlds or allow use mere mortals to escape to another land. And they are persuading us to buy stuff. Stuff we don’t need, or didn’t ever know we needed til now.
They can create rhythms, beats, symbolism.
They can make you cry, laugh, learn, relate.
They can instil confidence, give you knowledge, get to the point and then hammer it home.
There is so much to being a writer.
When I grow up I want to be one.
Let’s end on a happier, more whimsical note
I had to finish by asking this question. Who are your favourite writers? Let’s give them some love.
I find it really hard to choose, as there are so many that inspire me, but the biggest over the years (and the first to spring to mind admittedly) have to be:
(I am not a big child at all)
And, of course, the #write52 crew.
No they are not your classic authors and most famous literati. But I love them, they have each captivated this teeny mind of mine.
And that’s what counts.
Write 52: Week 22
Theme: A few of my favourite things