“It was just south of heaven and far, far west of hell.”
This example from a poorly written blog post wasn’t biblical in nature, just unequivocally terrible. Bad from the start, it didn’t have a chance, or the power of redemption. The author had admittedly never written anything in the past, yet in their short biography, had self-identified as a “writer”.
In this day and digital age, apparently it only takes a millisecond—and now everyone can call himself or herself a writer.
Have you posted a comment on Facebook? Created a blog that has been read by no one but your mother? If you have ever awoken in a cold sweat from a nightmare, then fired off a paragraph about it to Jezebel, have no fear, YOU ARE NOW A WRITER!
Prior to the birth of the internet and its recent incarnation, there wasn’t a universal platform to quickly communicate your deepest, darkest thoughts. Late-night ramblings of bored suburban housewives, the musings of high school students, and the cryptic scribblings from serial killers were confined to handwritten diaries. Extremely covert. Highly secretive and only approved for selective viewing pleasure, if any at all.
Now creativity is a free-for-all. And I love it.
Why? The reason is the larger idea at play that’s greater than us, which has fundamentally changed the way an entire generation has viewed (and future generations will view) writing as a means of self-expression, and it’s glorious. The floodgates have opened. There’s no slowing down now. Writing has given the less-confident a voice. Living in a small town and toiling away at a crappy job is now fodder for the next great Tweet or post. It might give hope that there is a world out there where at least one person feels the same as you.
Writing has taken the form of unconditional love. It has become a person, an entity that lives, breathes, and keeps growing; it has the gift of eternal life and never dies. It’s proof that you were here and made a contribution to society, however small it may be.
This creative explosion is in its infancy. And if it encourages more people to speak their minds and document it, then self-identifying as a writer has evolved beyond just being part of literary cliques with accolades and positive reviews.
Fact: your article has garnered two comments today, as opposed to none yesterday. Truth: two more souls are listening to what you have to say and may feel compelled to keep reading. Perhaps there was a misplaced comma or an incorrect word within your work. That’s fine. Take credit and own it—it’s now a part of you.
So go ahead and label yourself a writer, because the effort isn’t lost. You’re now seen and heard….somewhere, by someone.
Daniella Latham is a senior writer for a global corporation and has spent her career in the advertising industry. She holds a B.S. in Journalism and English Literature from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and is currently working on her first novel.