Can I twirl my mustache?

21 Dec

There comes a time where we all have had to own up. We’ve all had to say, “fuck yeah, I’m a writer.” or “yeah, I kinda write things, you know, from time to time.” But, in a world where identity is ever-evolving and people shout HIPSTER to references of Cher or Snow Caps (candy duh.), should we be clutching this label? Should we be clutching any label?

I suppose I’m not being clear.

Sometimes, I meet these people that try try try to abandon society. They jump from a ship they think is going down fast. They jump knowingly into a pool of words so convoluted it looks like milk after all the fruity pebbles are gone. And then, they are Jack Dawson: holding onto a door that could be shared, freezing, drowning. And people think they’ve turned up their noses. Not been smothered in their own creative indecision.

So, I’m a vegetarian, I’m a Hoosier, I’m a student, I’m a performer, I’m a lover, I’m a woman, I’m a writer.

But each of these words, when broken down, carry a plethora of weighty connotations. Duh. Right? But are we always so aware? I say I’m a female writer, I take the risk of becoming several different people. In a few eyes, I’m trapped in a loveless marriage and write romance novels in the laundry room to the sound of my crying triplets who all conveniently have the flu. Or, I’m suffering from a complex where men don’t love me so I write all my fantasies into award winning erotic fiction. Or, I’m superior to men and a snob and I write books about suffrage and real struggles and the pain of having a VAGINA. I could go on and on. But, the point is, this scenario applies to every label out there. Especially “writer.”

I know writers who are published, generally well-known, successful and yet still don’t call themselves a “writer.” Could this be for the reasons I’ve outlined? Maybe. Could it stem from other things. Certainly. But I don’t think that gives my point any less validity. (Ha. Of course I don’t… or I just wanted to waste a fuck-ton of time.)

Basically. The questions I want answers to, are these: when we take on the title of female writer,or writer, or any label, are we measuring all the fall out accurately? Could we simply not say anything…and get away with it? I’m not suggesting we continue this blog anonymously. LAWDY, I love this blog. I love writing. I want to shout it in elevators. I want to throw candy at small children and scream, “I WRITE GODDAMNIT!” from the top of wailing fire engines.

And, I’m not afraid. I’m just wondering…

I don’t want to be one of “those.” DUM DUM DUM: A snob.

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4 Responses to “Can I twirl my mustache?”

  1. thenerdynegress December 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I worry about this ALL the time. I feel like we made this blog to create a safe space for ourselves and in the process promote more women being comfortable calling themselves writers. But the word “writer” sounds accomplished. How can I be a writer if I don’t have any “writerly accomplishments” in my bio? How many accolades are enough? When will other people consider me a writer?

    I also struggle with the idea that I’ll never be a writer who truly pushes the envelope. Nothing I write is particularly experimental or ground-breaking. It’s all short and simple reflections. I’m also someone who enjoys Young Adult fiction more than most anything else. Sometimes I think that makes me look like a chump.

    I feel like most writers, especially ones on-line (sheesh) come across as snobs. Even to me. I think we can be snobs, cliquish, and exclusive even when we don’t mean to be. I hope that people realize how open we are. I hope they know how much we just want let the world know that we love who we are and we are made of parts, some woman, some writer.

    We’re not better, just excited.

    • Layne Ransom December 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

      “Iā€™m also someone who enjoys Young Adult fiction more than most anything else. Sometimes I think that makes me look like a chump.”

      I hear you. There are some truly chump-ish YA novels I’ve enjoyed, and I can make fun and still enjoy them, but there are exceptional YA books that, as I’m guessing you know, get short shrift because of their target audience. Those books are a big reason why I read and write in the first place. I feel like book snobbery would make my “favorites” and “what I’m reading now” lists terribly boring.

    • elysiasmith December 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

      “a writer who truly pushes the envelope”
      this statement made me stop and think because it seems to me…those who “truly push the envelope” are never trying for that type of accomplishment. A simple reflection can turn into something revolutionary if the right passion is behind the language. And passion is something you will never lack, darling girl.

  2. Natalie December 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Yes, sweet pea, this made sense.
    I’m excited about this blog. You’re such grand ladies and I’ve enjoyed the posts I’ve read. Looking forward to reading more– keep it up, girls, and don’t be afraid to write from whatever perspective you like šŸ™‚
    -Natalie

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