What makes a ‘writer’?
It used to be that you could call yourself a ‘writer’ if your work had been published and being sold in the book stores. Now with self publishing we can all get our work out there online.
I am by no means suggesting that self published work is any more inferior but merely opening up the debate about what makes a writer.
With certain professions it is clear cut; you cannot declare yourself a brain surgeon without the pre-requiste years of stringent training and bits of paper and on the job experience. Likewise with lawyers, accountants, teachers and so on and so forth.
But anyone can pick up a pen metaphorically or have access to a laptop and bang away at the keyboard, press the enter key and hey presto a writer/blogger is born and immortalised by her words.
One could argue that there are bad apples and good as there are in any professions, otherwise there wouldn’t be the need for the Law Society or GMC. But who regulates writers and advise them to keep the day job? Yes there are Booker prizes for the elite but what about us normal folks who just want to express ourselves and uphold our right to freedom of speech?
I ask this as I discovered to my shock that my ex has taken to calling himself a ‘writer’ of science fiction and fancies himself a bit of a ‘poet’. He never so much as picked up a book in the eighteen years of our past shared existence except to consult motorbike manuals and as for poetry, well, let’s just say, he never wrote me any poetry.
Yet there staring me in black and white on the Amazon/Kindle website is indeed a debut volume of love poems dedicated to none other than my replacment, the younger model and his soul mate and true love, apparently. Quite what I was all those years God knows, willing domestic slave, bearer of his only offspring, childcare provider, bed fellow and having to help bring the bacon home too. Not bad huh? The full package and all with love and devotion only to find my position had become surplus to requirements.
The poems, in case you are remotely curious, are in a word crap and Blake would turn over in his grave. So is a bad poet still a poet?