Writers write. Right? We’ve heard it a bunch of times. What does it mean? Does it mean you just write and write and write and hope somebody reads it? Does it mean that, no matter what, you keep on writing? Really. What the heck does it mean? What if nobody seems to be reading what you write and you are like Emily Dickinson, writing poem after poem and at the end of life having fewer than a dozen published? This, the writer’s equivalent to the legacy of our dear painter Van Gogh. Could this possibly be what it means to write? If so, the birds can inherit my writing. Any writing I might do would be for the birds.
Writers don’t just write. Writers get published. Artists get exposed and musicians get heard. Sorry, but just because I write does not mean I’m a writer. Okay, technically, yes it does mean that. But if that’s all it means… Who is going to give me any attention? Who is going to give a rat’s – hmmm. The topic is infuriating and so I revert to the tendency of cussing.
But wait! Does a writer just get published? Does that mean I’m a writer? No, of course not. One could say, I WAS a writer, back then. Now I’m resting on my laurels, and they do feel good. What that boy needs is a kick in the – hmmm. Again I feel like cussing. The rump, the butt, that which we writers so often situate against the seat of a chair when hard at work. Internet Marketers also situate the butt in a chair. Tom Antion – and others, I suppose, but he might well have coined the term – calls them “butt warriors”. Are you a butt warrior?
This is what I think a butt warrior is: Someone who, for whatever reason, wants to sit his butt down and do one thing well, with butt affixed to chair, and get paid well and have a fun time doing it. (Alright, maybe you don’t get paid…well, anyway.) A software programmer is not a butt warrior. That work is too hard, and possibly BORING. No. A butt warrior has to be excited about what he’s doing while his butt is affixed to the seat of his (hopefully) comfy chair.
I am a writer. And so far I have produced how many words for this article or whatever it is? 395 words. Wow! Not that many. Yet. But enough. Come on. I was just sitting on my butt enjoying myself, yacking away as I like to do. It doesn’t get any better than this. (Who owns that phrase? I don’t want to name the beer manufacturer that made that phrase famous. Let them pay me. Yeah. Right.)
I am a writer because, above everything else, I think in words. Doesn’t everyone? Yeah, but I pay attention to those words. A LOT of attention. Every day I have the capability of sitting on my butt and enjoying myself doing virtually nothing but producing something in the way of writing. That’s a butt warrior.
But what did you get out of it? If I just produced crap, what I produced while sitting on my butt would amount to exactly what I would produce if I were sitting on the toilet. Excuse my honesty and graphic expression.
I’m articulate as hell. What can I say? I love writing. I love sitting on my butt or even lying down with a laptop – but another form of butt warriorism. Who doesn’t? A lot of folks. Who was it that said anyone who wrote but not for money was a blockhead? Google, help me. Samuel Johnson! Can you believe it? I mean, this never could have been 20…30 years ago, pre-Google, pre-Net, pre-civilization-as-we-know-it. I’m sitting here on my rear – AKA patooty – and I need to recall who that guy was who said that, and all I have to do is click on Mr. Google and, voila! Le answer! One day we are going to be brains in a jar. No. We are going to be brains with a gargantuan rump.
If that made you laugh, I did my job, and I did it the entire time sitting on my patooty. (Maybe I just got a smile. But’s enough.) Now you have to admit, that’s major fun time. And now, the magic occurs as I publish this thing I just wrote. Nay, give it credibility by putting it – where? Where did you say you were going to publish this thing you just wrote? That’s right: THE WEB.
Can you believe it and does it get any better than this? Oh, I did already say that. But look, Ma, I can say it again and the context allows it. I repeat a phrase and get more words and it’s permitted because, look Ma, I can write!
Okay. How many words now? 800. That’s more respectable. I think that will do. That’s way more than a lot of articles. Especially on the net.
So, here we go. I can write. This much I know. So I wrote. Now, since I have nothing better to do with this thing I wrote, I’ll let it be an article and publish it on the web. Look Ma, I’m a published writer. Amazing. And I’ve already said the look, Ma thing a couple of times already, I think. At least once, but I think twice. Let me read this over again, give it a quick glance. Yeah. I did. Just a few paragraphs ago.
This is amazing, what a glass of wine and a keyboard can do. Alright, minus the glass of wine, which is totally doable. I don’t want you becoming one of those kinds of writers. But once in awhile, you’ve got to admit, the glass of wine, or whatever, as long as it is not crack cocaine the like, is nice.
Deep breath. Exhale. Okay, this is done. What happened? I’ll recap: I wrote. Now I’m going to publish, and not just to my website, and not just to a social site. I’ll actually get this thing I wrote read by someone who is PAID to read this sort of thing. And I’m published. You’ve got to like that. This is what you call inspirational writing. Did I inspire you? I inspired me. That’s a good start and what counts anyway. Right? Moi? Number uno? The big cheese. The big enchilada. (Indecently, I had two of those this evening. Enchiladas, that is. I wrote for humor but also because it is true!)
Writers write. But they also get the things published. And what’s so hard about that, is what I want to know. Answer: Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zip.
Excuses are over, my friend. Writers write, but they also get published. And you can do that. EASY…as…pie. (And let’s all remember, ladies and germs, pie are not squared. Pie are round. LOL. Okay, maybe not LOL. But a giggle at least. At least that’s worth a giggle.) Okay. Maybe you don’t get paid. Samuel Johnson and torpedoes be damned. (Like the way I mix metaphors? I didn’t really that much either. And I didn’t really do that, anyway. I did something like that. Oh well. Like the way I stick in all these parentheses? I’m sure you don’t. Okay, I’ll stop.)
Write. Alright? Publish. Alright? So what if you are a numbskull because you do it and don’t get paid. At least you can tell people you are not only a writer but also an author.
Seriously – I know you don’t think I’m being serious and I’m not being serious right now, but I am: Write and publish. Go ahead, slap it on the web in any way you can. Bust loose. Get out there. Do your thing and make it happen and get heard, get seen, get in print, whatever. That’s the ticket. Eventually, fortune will shine on you. I believe that for myself, and I believe that for you. And if you don’t believe me, well then, you can have a raspberry. Pbbbllll!
Seriously: Write and publish. That’s it. That makes you a writer. Oh, and, got to keep churning out words and hopefully substance. (My substance was humor. I’m sorry about the parentheses. I won’t do it again. In this article, anyway.) 1,371 words. Done sitting on my butt having a grand time. You’ve got to like that.
Beau Smith is a professional sculptor whose sculptures have been collected across the US and abroad for over twenty years. His sculpture is in parks, gardens, dowtown areas, and other public venues. His primary art site, at http://www.beautifulfrog.com, has his paintings, podcast, articles, music, and twenty years worth of large frog sculptures archived.