I like being around people talking about writing but when I am I feel like a freak.
Everyone is writing a book. The book is making them crazy. They’ve been trying to finish the book for ten years but this year they’re getting back to it.
Attention turns to me and I tell folks I write short pieces, the shorter the better. I like writing a short essay in one ridiculously long, run-on sentence. I love a 48-word story challenge. I tell them the most I ever write is 1,500 words and they nod politely. But when I tell them I write for my blog, they start filing their nails.
It gets worse when I mention I just published a compilation of conversations between my two, now dead, dogs. Are you a serious person? I feel their strained tolerance. Who let her in? Only kidding. Writers are never mean to other writers. Dismissive sometimes but not mean.
So then the tiny competitive part of me (well, maybe not so tiny) wants to start presenting my bona fides, like a little girl on the playground, “I can too swing on the swing standing up!” after the it girl catches her making mud pies in the sandbox. The set-up is that writing a book or intending to write a book or being neurotic about writing a book makes someone more of a writer than a blogger who writes every day, exposes herself to the world, and has actual readers.
I overstate. As is a blogger’s habit, just to get attention, don’t you know. That immediate gratification thing is no joke, ask my Publish button. And here again, I feel like I need a hyperlink to my Publications page, to my evidence vault, to show that I’m a serious person, that I am a writer.
But this here is my evidence. This post and the one before that and the one before that. This is my writing. This is my art. This is my vault. And I’m just one of many writers whose publishing vehicle is a blog. Amazing, prolific poets, fascinating travel writers, crafters of flash fiction, memorists and cause writers who give strangers hope and inspiration. We’re serious people who love to put words on a screen for people anywhere in the world to read. We’re writers. We can swing on a swing standing up with the best of them.