From Ronchimata, commenting on “The Manny Pacquiao Scandal:”
Manny can’t be a singer, an actor or a politician. But you know what, no matter what you do, you can’t be a good writer. You contradict your self too much.
I just wanted to share that comment with you to frame today’s experiment. The topic is: I’m not a (good) writer.
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“Writer,” to me, is an overused term. To be a “writer,” to me, has always been putting yourself in the same league as a Sinclair Lewis, an Ernest Hemingway, a Franz Kafka. To be called a “writer” is to have your legacy cemented in the history books. But to call yourself a “writer” is an act not only of overconfidence, but the height of arrogance. This is the very reason why I’m extremely hesitant to call myself a “writer,” even if others call me one.
It has become very important for me to frame myself, to put my own view of myself into the proper perspective. If I write poems (which I don’t), that doesn’t give me the right to call myself a “poet” and put myself in the same league as Shakespeare. If I sing (which I rarely do), that doesn’t give me the right to call myself a “singer” and put myself in the same league as Elvis.
Which is why I’m not a writer: I’m a blogger.
No writer that I know of has ever had the temerity or the audacity to call himself one in his lifetime. You can’t be a writer “just because.” After all, nowadays you can teach a guy some basic functions of Microsoft Word and make a “writer” out of him. You can tutor a girl on the matter of measure and rhyme and make a “poet” out of her. I find this to be the general problem of everybody who claims to be a “writer:” defining the situation.
Many of my friends question why I blog frequently: after all, I’m not getting any money out of it. Besides, blogging is the most boring thing one can do in a computer shop: it lacks the excitement of computer games, the fun of chatting, and the joy of watching YouTube videos or answering Friendster surveys. Simple: because I’m a blogger. I could care less for how many comments I get or how much money I make out of it. I care more for what I can share to people whether they agree or disagree with it. That’s my motivation. That’s all there is: my moment of glory may come tomorrow, next year, or not at all.
So I can’t be a good writer. Big whoop: I never claimed to be one anyway. I know my place. I know where I am. I could care less if I’m a good writer or a bad one, a good blogger or a bad one. I don’t care what history judges me to be at the end of the day. What’s important is the here-and-now: I’m more than satisfied if people call me a “writer” or a “blogger,” irrespective of the adjective that precedes it.
And that’s why I’m a blogger.