Before the infamous “No mas” fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, the legendary boxer Roberto Duran was true to his nickname: “Manos de piedra,” or “hands of stone.” Coupled with his excellent boxing skills and mastery of the ways of the ring, Duran was known for his hard punches. When Duran fought, his opponents felt like they were beaten up by a machine with rock-hard fists. It may sound like a cliché, but Duran inspired a nation with his hands.
If there’s anything I learned this year, inspiring a nation with a pair of hands only comes easy if you’re a boxer. When you’re a writer, the hands that turn to claws at the end of the working day do not inspire a nation at all. While I can inspire a half dozen people with a good blog entry about 60% of the time, I cannot do that all the time. Somehow, the nobility of the profession of writing has its own novelty value all worn out.
With more than a hint of bitterness, I often lament about how writers like myself are underappreciated. Being a writer is not easy; no matter how talented or committed you are to what you do, you almost always end up on the short end of the stick. I don’t know how inspired people can get every time they see something I write, but inspiration has ceased to be a goal for me some months back. Like every writer, my goal has turned into a necessity to get paid, to pay for everything I need, and save a little something for a rainy day. The nobility of it wore off some time ago, when I realized that inspiration is only secondary to making sure you’re alive.
I guess that the worth of writing lies in the fact that no matter what other people say, you’re always in the position of knowing that other people cannot – and I mean cannot – do what you do. Writing may have lost its nobility for me, but what it takes to write is something that is not lost on me. There’s a reason why writers are few, and why it takes a lot of gall to call yourself one outside of job titles. To be a writer means to give yourself a place in history where you become immortal… where you become part of it.
I do not know if what I have done over the years has merited me calling myself a writer; in truth, I am not one. At best, I am a scriptor engaged in the perpetual precis and perrenial paraphrase of thoughts already written, of concepts already articulated.