From time to time all writers must deal with friends, family or acquaintances who look down on their craft. Perhaps the most annoying aspect of being a writer isn’t writer’s block, but the know-it-all non-writer who thinks they can churn out interesting content on a regular basis without the slightest bit of effort.
Let me spell it out for some of you non-writers in ways that you can understand: You can’t.
Some of us “bloggers” wake up early five days a week and go to jobs. Those jobs often require us to work late into the night, and that’s not even counting the time it takes to commute to and from work. That’s not including the time it takes to then prepare dinner at hours sane people don’t prepare dinner, pay bills, and handle any number of other responsibilities we have before hoping online to find something worthwhile to write about.
It’s not good enough to just write, because it has to be done well. In order to get people to return to our pages we have to have a unique voice, keep grammatical mistakes to a minimum, respond to feedback, and be willing to put in extra time finding links and videos to support our arguments. Sometimes photos aren’t readily available, or we have to Photoshop our own. We do this, and the vast majority of us aren’t getting paid to do to so—we do it because we love the written word. We love our craft and want to accurately articulate the things that motivate and inspire us in ways that will do the same for someone else.
Given the above sentiments, I hope you can understand how a writer might take offense when someone whose daily experience with “writing” is limited to text messaging his girlfriend in emoticons, or a few hastily made scribbles on a grocery list once a week, implies that he could write a blog or a book if he wanted a hobby.
Here’s the bottom line: You haven’t written a blog or a book, and you’re not a writer. Don’t pretend like anyone can do it, because it’s not true. People who write on a regular basis have a discipline that the “I could do that if I felt like it” crowd will never have, so stop kidding yourself.
When you, the self righteous non-writer, have put together a blog and delivered quality writing three times a week for at least a year, give me a call. Until then, go back to texting your girlfriend using as many acronyms as possible.