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Words on the Page or on the Air

There are moments when I believe I am a writer. In that moment I believe I am going to be a published writer. (Arguments about the value in that another day.) But should someone ask me about what I want to do, I never say writer. Then the belief becomes foolish–a bit like saying I saw a UFO over my house or a fairy hanging from my shoelace.

In written words everything is possible, and in the spoken word it falls apart. For me. Why is that?

3 thoughts on “Words on the Page or on the Air

  1. Speaking is less controlled, and the feedback is so immediate. It also requires more action (words moving from brain to lips and tongue), and in this way requires more commitment. Once they are spoken, words can’t be unspoken. With writing, one can delete, alter, refine. And one has more control over who gets exposed to them.

    Perhaps the question is also incorrect. Writing isn’t what Marta wants to do, it is already what she does. Whether you believe yourself to be one or not in a given moment, you are anyway. And someday you will be a published writer. Not being published doesn’t make you less of a writer.

  2. Marta,

    For those days when you feel you have to say you “want to be” a writer versus “I am a writer” – remember this:

    You know you’re a writer when:

    – Every surface in your house has morphed into a desk: the kitchen island, the bed, the dining room table, the top of your antiquated television.

    – You assess every person you meet as either good or poor character material.

    – You would have to write even if you knew for sure that no one would ever read a word of it.

    and, of course,

    – Everything you write falls short of what is in your head.

    (for more, see Adair Lara’s “You Know You’re a Writer When. . . .” – not sure where it’s available – my mother picked me up a copy at the NY Public Library – lol)

  3. Kathryn, your comment made me think that also, when you speak the words are gone indeed (Lets not get into audio recording here) but when you write, not only can you, the writer, go over them and work on them and polish them, the reader can keep them and pull them out years later and have an opinion about them.

    And Sarah, I love your words of wisdom here–I do all those things! And I’ll keep an eye out for the book. Thanks.

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