This is an actual conversation I had:
Me: So, what kind of stuff do you like to do?
Other Person: I’m a writer.
Me: Really? That’s great! What do you write? Or do you have more than one project?
Other Person: No, just the one. I like to devote myself fully to an idea. I’ve got this epic cycle, where the fate of worlds hangs in the balance*. It draws on the philosophies of Buddha and Richard Dawkins. It’s incredible.
Me: Wow, that’s a hell of an undertaking. How far along are you?
Other Person: Oh, I haven’t started. But I’ve been thinking about it for a decade.
Other Person: It’s going to be awesome.
Other Person, you are not a writer. You have not written, ergo you are not a writer. You’re a thinker, and, you know, congratulations on that. I hear Rodin did a sculpture of you. But until the moment you put pen to paper or fingers to keys**, you are not a writer.
You are a fake.
You’re like a person who calls themselves a fighter pilot because they’ve seen Top Gun 400 times. If thinking about things was all it took to be allowed to call yourself by their title, I would by now be an expert marksman, world-class trauma surgeon, and have the ability to communicate telepathically with machines. But, alas, I am not. And I don’t go around pretending to be.***
We all have the potential to do things. But, until we do them, that’s all it is: potential.
You want to be a writer? Go write. Then you are a writer. You might not be a published writer, or a financially independent writer, or even a good writer. But those are qualifiers. You’ve written: you are a fucking writer. Congratulations.
Until then, stop wasting my time.
*All right, I can’t actually remember what they said. But it was some variant of ‘big thing that will take the rest of my life’.
**Or, given the timeline this guy is on, put brain to the Automatic Thought Enscribing Machine.
***Except when I try to take control of the back hoes at construction sites.
5 thoughts on “On Being A Fake”
I don’t know how you controlled youself… 😉
Who’s to say I did?
Why is it that people will pop out with”I’m writing a short story/book/novel.” And then they say”I haven’t started/finished it yet.” Sighs. I still get funny looks when I tell people what I write which is dark fiction/fantasy/erotica. Smiles. Next time just walk away from the idiot. Keep up the great bolg content. Hugs.
The funny looks you get from people are just because they really want to read what you’ve written, but are too embarrassed to ask.
And if I walk away from all the idiots, what would I have to blog about?