The very best description I’ve ever heard for the writer comes from a documentary called “Tales from the Script”, wherein a (screen)writer is described as, “…a megalomaniac with low self-esteem.” When I think about myself – and my work, especially my fiction writing – this description is damn near perfect.
While I didn’t always, I put a tremendous amount of effort into my work, and I look down my nose in disdain at drabblers who think that just because they slap some words together on a page, that makes them a “writer.” Because I create real people, and real worlds (even if they’re fantastic), and real situations that I think should be admired and fawned upon by anyone who happens across them.
Yet, at the slightest criticism that I feel is unfair, I’m ready to punch the criticiser full on in the face.
Both outlooks are admittedly unhealthy…and yet both, I feel, are warranted. Because literature is a form of art. Writing leads to literature, and it should be treated and respected as an art form. But the writer has a responsibility to that art form, just as much as the reader should have respect for the writer. The writer should be cognizant of spelling, grammar, and form. Plot and characterization are necessary tools of the trade, too. And there should be realism, as well. Without this respect for the art, it’s just words on a piece of paper (or a screen).
I’ve likely already lost anyone who stumbled across this site, but that’s who I am: a megalomaniac with low self-esteem.
I’m a writer.