In Defense of Writing
I'm not an expert at fixing brakes or extracting wisdom teeth. I don't know how to till the fields, code a website or land a plane You probably wouldn't want me to defend you in a court of law. (However, if you needed a kick-ass letter of support, then I'm your girl.)
I do however know how to write. Writing is my profession. I am a professional writer.
And, like the aforementioned occupations, my career is one that's required quite a bit of training, both formally and on-the-job, to get me to my present level. So what exactly is it, about my chosen livelihood, that not only makes folks think that they can do my job, but that they can do it better than me?
Part of the problem is that technically, everyone can write. There's no great mystery in taking pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. There's no licensing process, no test to take, no governing board to fine you if you aren't doing your job properly. And often with this, comes a complete lack of respect for what we, as writers do.
Oh, not from other writers. Writers love writers. They appreciate the effort it takes to compose a thought. To get out a message. To obsess, over for just the exact word, phrase or sentence needed to bring the whole piece together.
Writers know that writing takes discipline. And concentration. Writing takes intelligence. And commitment. Writing takes research. And patience. Writing takes the ability to be analytical. And to be critical. Writing takes self-editing. And the courage to toss it all in the trash and start again. Writing takes the ability to steel yourself from your critics, especially the ones without any credentials.
The act of stringing words together, does not a writer make. Good writing needs to have meaning. A writer, above all, is an expert communicator, responsible for relaying information, breaking down complex topics into easy to understand tidbits or creating a mood, all while motivating you to keep on reading. The only tools at our disposal? Words.
Good writing should look easy.
A good writer will tell you that it never is.