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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life: Writing Down the Bones (102 comments)

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  •  thanks (4+ / 0-)

    but I do see the struggle that many have with being able to claim and own the identity and status of "writer".

    It seems somewhat disrespectful of that, which I recognize as an important psychological and consciousness-raising process, to unpack my own struggles around defining my "not-writer" status, at least in this moment and in this place.  

    But good to file away for future reference.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 09:42:49 AM PDT

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    •  I think that it depends on how one views (6+ / 0-)

      the term writer: I don't see it as a status, but as a description of an individual engaging in an activity.

      I would no more describe an unpublished writer as "not a writer" than I would describe swimming meet also-rans as "not swimmers."

      To me, this is not a way of self-affirmation or a morale booster, it's just an acknowledgment that there is no magic way to suddenly "become" a writer, since there's nothing to become, just something to either do or not do. That's tough enough.

      We must use what we have
      to build what we need. -Adrienne Rich

      by Xapulin on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 10:00:07 AM PDT

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      •  well, for example (3+ / 0-)

        in the case sited by kait in the comment that parented mine above, the teacher really is trying to encourage the students to stop seeing the gulf between themselves and those who have published by mystifying this status of "writer".  The advice and the solution is"write" and then, you too will be a writer.

        In my case, I don't want to become a "writer", I want simply to write, and not necessarily so that the outcome of my writing are neatly contained and recognizable packages that the world values.  So the distinction here is  important to me.

        But that importance is highly individual, rooted in the quirks of personal biography, psychological and emotional equilibria, and an on-going philosophical and political struggle around the tensions between ego, celebrity, and voice in a commercialized and commodified public sphere.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 10:16:58 AM PDT

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        •  Wow (3+ / 0-)

          You have given this some serious thought. I was going to say that she just wanted us to write, more to demystify than mystify, but she did by golly push me to publish, made me read in front of her graduate seminar, got me some nomination for something blah blah. I, however, actually think (if I'm understanding you correctly) a little bit more like you, but for a different reason. Writing "for your audience" is certainly a good advice for technique, for clarity, for publishing,  but ... I'm a terribly autobiographical writer, so my audience is--me? No. But I write for me. Shrug. That's okay by me, but oh no, Eve (and others) were having none of it. I think your thoughts and your reason for writing are damn fine, especially when you mention that magic word for me, voice. It's your voice.

      •  Wow. Xapulin, that's true. (3+ / 0-)

        It's not something you become, it's something you do or don't do. Hmm. I guess that's pretty much true of most things...

        "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin

        by SuWho on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 01:58:22 PM PDT

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