What Makes One A Writer?

What makes someone a writer? Obviously, there is more to it then the ability to simply clearly or unclearly express something via the written word. According to that technical definition, anyone could and would, be writers. But I’m talking about Jack London, about Oscar Wilde, about Hank Moody. The last one may be fictional, or may not. Maybe I am secretly Hank Moody for all you know. My point is this: authentic and meaningful writing requires both skill and insight. You need both the literary tools necessary to aptly and attractively compose and deliver your thoughts, and you need the thoughts.

But from where does insight come? Many “writers” in this modern age tend to be over-educated bastards who have never had dit on their hands, let alone blood. There is a severe lack of experience in the lives of many such “writers.” Experiences are the fuel for real writing. i went through a period at one point where I suffered from extreme “writer’s block.” It was not that I could not still spread bullshit on paper, anyone with half a brain can do that. But it felt as if I had said all I could, that I had nothing more to offer. The coffers were dry. What I finally realized, after several months of frustration was that my writing up to that point had mostly been based off experiences I had undergone previously in my life. Once this supply ran dry, so too did my writing.

Hence the open road. hence the decision to live as a vagabond. I want to live. I want to know. I want to look into the eyes of a homeless man as he tells me how he arrived here. I want to look out of the eyes of a homeless man. I want to feel the accusing and judgmental eyes of the white, middle-class business women when they walk pass my long-haired and downtrodden self in the grocery store. I want to know real hunger, to feel thirst. I want to live so that I can be a writer.

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