A pronouncement about pronouncements

The writing blogosphere seems to be in a very pronouncement-prone place right now, filled with posts about how “real writers do this” and “you can’t really write unless you do that.” No doubt I’ve contributed without realizing it, at this time or another.

But I think I’d like a hiatus on any of us claiming to know anything about how anyone can or should or does write except ourselves. Or, failing that, I’d like for us to all assume there’s an invisible disclaimer that goes with every post about writing–and anything else for that matter–even if we sometimes forget to include it explicitly:

This worked for me. I include it here only because I find it interesting that it worked for me, and also because there’s always a chance it will work for you, too. But of course I can’t tell whether it will; only you can tell that.

For every writing process out there, there will be people who have made a career of it, people who’ve made a rewarding hobby of it, and people who’ve done all sorts of in between things that defy easy labels. Writing is a chaotic, no-one-size-fits-all system. Life is a chaotic, no-one-size-fits-all system, if it comes down to that.

I also think I’d like a moratorium on online discussions what does or doesn’t make someone a real writer. (Though anyone who considers themselves a real writer–by whatever criteria they personally use–is still welcome to download the certificate, of course.) Each of us is responsible for our own career, our own writing, our own lives. It’s none of anyone’s concern how anyone else chooses to define themselves.

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