What makes a writer? Every one writes. The simple act of connecting a pencil to a piece of paper is writing. Even a child can do it.
Maybe the question is the purpose of writing. Tell a story, propose an idea, fight a wrong, remind someone forgetful; it’s all writing.
Perhaps presentation separates an ordinary writer from one who attracts several readers.
So…define an audience, play to their emotions and promote yourself. Is that the game? Is writing a game?
A few years ago looking for inspiration I signed up for a creative writing course. It turned out to be an exercise in poetry. I hated poetry. I soon realized I didn’t understand poetry. I learned to like it.
My first attempt at poetry rhymed and included the phrase “heart and soul.” I read it aloud, a requirement of the instructor, he immediately chastised me. “Heart and soul is crap, not poetry.” I was crushed.
Again, I floundered in what poetry was supposed to be; in fact what any writing was supposed to be.
I also used to belong to a writer’s group. Their agenda seemed to be criticism, and not in a constructive fashion. The combination of an uppity professor and a self-absorbed group of wanna-be writers set me on my fanny.
My confidence was a mere thread of certainty. How foolish to think I could write, truly write. I believed publishing something, anything was a fanciful idea. I have ideas about subject matter, style, point of view but when I mention them to a possible audience, I’m looked at as someone who hasn’t learned the rules of writing.
So why does writing have rules? The pencil has an erasure for mistakes and the paper has line to prevent a mess, but neither is a guide to good writing.
Certain activities have a set of rules-for good reason. But joining a piece of paper and a pencil is not a right or wrong activity. So….I will let the ideas or subject matter flow. It’s my stuff, I can do what I want. It’s up to the reader to accept it as good writing. Jerky professor aside, I like poetry to rhyme and “heart and soul” are the depth we need to reach.