The Prestige of the Writer

The Prestige of the Writer
Image provided by Aimee Fleck
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aimeefleck/

Writers are the same as everyone else. Some of us are wall flowers; others are attention mongers; and there are, of course, the ones in between. Some are straight-laced; others are totally off the wall; and, then like the majority of any group, there are the ones who arise to the occasion as needed.

I’ve heard it said that artists, whether a painter, musician, or a writer, are classified as “sensitive”, as if they’re so distinct from the rest of society. I’m sure there are some who are emotionally delicate, but there are sales people, accountants, iron workers, teachers, et cetera who are the same way.

I’ve referred to articles written by Jami Gold before. I love her no-nonsense attitude about the craft of writing. Approximately a month ago, she wrote about the ego of the writer. Unquestionably, I was already mindful of how the ego could help or hinder in the work. Still, see it written, roused thoughts about how the domain of the craft can evoke changes in the ego, and therefore altering the general attitude.

Can the weight of being a writer bend your basic characteristics? I’m still puzzled by the probability. I know I have changed in recent months and years because I’ve become so devoted to writing. If you are a writer, have you noticed any changes in yourself?

I’m not as likely to aspire to pleasing others as I used to be. Although I’m still a clean person to the point of being a neat freak, I’m not driven to appear as part of the majority of society anymore. Cleanliness and order have become more of a private preference. The need for approval of my person had diminished.

Does this mean the pursuit of writing has made me arrogant, lofty, and disdainful? I could appear so without thought to how I’m behaving or what I’m saying.

The role of a writer is generally knotty. The time spent writing is self-contained and with the only conversation being with oneself as he or she pounds on the keyboard or puts pen to paper. However, in order to get what is written to the reader, most scribblers must be social to some extent. For some, this comes easy, and I wish with my whole heart I was one of them. I, like others, find much of social activity difficult and sometime even trivial.

Yes, probability is I come off seeming aloof, and maybe even  pretentious. I don’t like the judgment, yet I do understand how people may come to this conclusion about me. Is this a possibility with you?

I do put on my “best face” for social interaction. I smile, supposedly at easy, and make appropriate introductions. I contribute to conversations, oftentimes asking questions because I know nothing about the subject being discussed. Still, much more often than not, I’m wrung out by the end of the event and can hardly wait to get where there is utter silence and solitude.

Does this reaction to social functions insinuate that I’m petulant or despondent? I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. I don’t like this deduction myself, yet how can I be anything other than who I am?

§

Maybe I should be an accountant instead. Can I remember those classes about stocks and bonds? O_o

What is your take on the prestige of the writer?

“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master — something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.” — Emily Bronte

 

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16 Replies to “The Prestige of the Writer”

  1. I think “not playing to the audience” is more “being true to oneself” than arrogant. Perhaps it’s a fine line, but maybe it’s a little push-back to having bent to the will of others too many times in life. I hope I’m not seen as trying to be lofty or pretentious, but I honestly don’t give it much thought when I write. I am writing for me and if people follow and/or like what I write, I’m happy, but I think I’d write anyway.

    Social occasions? I’m still trying to avoid most of those 🙂

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    1. Dan, we’re of alike character. “Not playing the audience” is a perfect saying to describe both the writing and the social interaction. Bravo!

      Are our worlds getting smaller as we come to the realization of our true selves? I think mine is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a chicken-egg thing, or more formally, ‘post hoc’. Meaning: The rooster crows every morning and the sun rises. Is that causal? Tough to know if it’s your writing , maturing, or other factors changing you. Or all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacqui, chances are it’s the combination of all, although I think the assumption of a haughty attitude is the writer in me. Maturing has taught me to be more of who I am up front and center. This may put some aback.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a thought-provoking post which caused some self examination on my part. I didn’t start to write until I retired, and I believe I have become more introspective and fulfilled and less interested in a social life. Throughout my life I was told I was reserved, which I took to mean a bit hoity-toity, though I don’t think it was meant that way. I would describe myself as an introvert with a touch of shyness. Like you, I’m exhausted by social functions that extend beyond my family and close friends. And thank you for the Bronte quote. It’s marvelous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because the name Beulah is so rarely seen or heard anymore, I felt compelled to search for your real name, Janet. In doing so, I found that you’re from the part of the country I am from. I’m from Colorado and have spent time both in Utah and Nevada. Could this be why our thoughts mirror each other? Possibly. Although I wrote articles when I was younger, I can’t say honestly that I dedicated to the passion at the time. (There’s probably another post in this somewhere.) My real enthusiasm didn’t pop up until four years ago when I turned 58. I don’t think I possess any shyness though. When the mood strikes me, I speak my mind with ease.

      When I found this quote, I was taken off guard by how it rang so true, at least for me and, obviously, for you too.

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      1. Beulah was a dear great aunt, who, along with the rest of my aunts and uncles, had a hand in molding me. I chose to name my blog for her to honor all of them. Interesting that we both know Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. I’m glad the world of blogging has led us to one another. I really enjoy your writing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure if my writing is changing me, but staying up late in order to write is making me more tired in the day. Not trying to make light of your thoughtful post, Glynis, but I think circumstances beyond my writing are changing my patience. I have far more patience for some things and people, am intolerant of others. Maybe it’s just me getting older.

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    1. Your thoughts are no joking matter, Sharon. Getting older does mean changes, and as it creeps in, we’re usually ignorant of entire matter. My patience runs so thin now that I’m avoiding people more often than I ever have before. What I find miraculous is my better understanding of my cats and my desire to spend more time with them. Still, all in all, much of what has changed in me and the way the changes have taken place are due to this attachment to writing that I didn’t have for so many years.

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  5. Glynis, I just love social events. I enjoy spending time with people. I also enjoy my solitude – my peace and quiet. the good thing is that I am able have balance. About writing, I don’t think about prestige or any such thing when I write. My blogging might even be seen as an on-line diary or regular reflections. Have a pleasant evening.

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    1. I’ve envied people like you who can juggle the social and solitude with such ease. I’ve been told people who can do this are the truly balanced of our society. It took me years to figure out that I was okay the way I am despite this lack of composure.

      I think of my blog as a way to converse with others who I have things in common with. I envision all of us at a park or coffee shop devolving in conversations. It’s an easier way for me to be socially engaged, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to lished by edit a writers magazine that was published by a writers organization, so I dealt with a range of writers:aspiring, professional, published, unpublished, and–well, I could go on but you get the picture. It seemed to me that we covered pretty much every personality type , from the arrogant to the thoughtful to the considerate, from the shy to the gleefully outgoing. What did they have in common? They wrote. That, really, was about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, writers differ just as people do in other groups. I want to say I’m special because I do write, but the reality is I’m not special and my quirks aren’t any more unusual than anyone else’s.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Apologies for a word and a half jumping up a couple of lines and turning my initial comment into gibberish. I’m working on a laptop and any time my sleeve gets close to the touchpad, all hell breaks loose. I didn’t notice before I hit Send.

        Credit to you for noticing that you want to claim that specialness and for recognizing that for what it is.

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        1. Ellen, there wasn’t anything wrong with what you wrote as a comment. I’m getting to know you this way. An editor–I like knowing these people who may be able to help me make my scribbling better.

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