If I say I’m a writer, does that make me one?
I’ve written 2 blog posts in 24 hours, I’m planning a monograph, I write mini fiction, I write grants. I’m a published author. Am I a writer?
A recent opinion article by Australian author Nicki Gemmell talks about “grit”. She talks about an experience she had doing her Masters of Creative Writing, where she noted plenty of participants wrote much better prose than her. But she could kind of tell that they didn’t have the stamina, perseverance or resilience to keep writing that she possessed.
I know what grit is. I have grit because I’ve gritted my teeth and driven myself to the end of the path for certain things, like finishing my tertiary studies. But I don’t have grit in other areas, such as singing. I wonder whether I have the grit for writing.
(I love this image from F*****.com which I’m going to say is a bitch because it doesn’t want you to use an adblocker, so screw you stupid website.)
The image implies grit is gripping, gritty, dirty and hard won. It certainly is. Grit is a difficult thing to master. But when you succeed, it’s like you’ve held on through the dirt and the mud and the piss and the shit, and you’re now allowed to have a really long soaking bath with bath salts, candles and champagne. Hola champagne!
So. Grit. Do I have it for writing? Should I reinvent my identity and travel down a different path? Do I have the luxury of this in 2016? Well, short of getting a lovely paying job, I say hell yeah. Why not.
Grit. You don’t like it in your food, between your toes or in your teeth. But in your soul? It’s the necessary sandpaper to your complacency.