November 30, 2011

Am I a writer? Or just restless?

By Daniel

There’s a certain self-righteous quality to calling yourself a writer when you have no published/paid work to your name. At that point you are closer to the truth if you refer to yourself as a “typist.” I have some friends, though, that exhibit that trait that I think is the telltale sign of a “real” writer, and that’s the urge to write almost constantly.

I have these urges, but I am usually sated by a one-liner or statement that’s been on my mind. I have several friends that are finishing up on their NaNoWriMo projects today. A novel! Jeez. I don’t think I can keep a train of thought from derailing for that kind of length. An overactive imagination needs an outlet, though, and I have many. Lately it’s been Skyrim, but other common pastimes have been making perfumes, designing houses in The Sims 3, writing, trying to come close to the talent level of my 18-year old self at FL Studio, making stepcharts in StepMania, designing board, card, or role-playing games…I can keep busy. There’s something deeply satisfying about writing, especially on a platform like this where I can toss these words into empty space and whatever happens, happens.

Every creative outlet of mine has a muse, and for writing it is two entities. The first, my long-time muse, has been Jerry Holkins (Tycho Brahe) at Penny Arcade. He puts out the most amazingly smooth, polished work three times a week and his tone just makes me happy, his sense for when to drop the flowery language and rage-curse for a while is incredible. The second, a somewhat more recent find, are several of the writers at Cracked. What’s more, they blatantly encourage writing at all skill levels. Somehow, a website that routinely publishes lists like “The 7 Most Elaborate Dick Moves in Gaming History” has become a beacon for aspiring writers.

An article that Robert Brockway (arguably my favorite writer on the Cracked staff, incidentally) put up today got me to thinking. Three posts a week on here was the idea and that fell apart rather quickly. I get a surprising amount of traffic for how little I post, so if I were to start up again I may end up with an even bigger audience. If I were a “real” writer that shouldn’t matter, but I find it disheartening to write to an empty room. And, I must admit, the fragrance industry is short on top-tier writers and I can’t help but be fascinated with the prospect of working in that industry. So expect more reviews in the future as I sharpen my nose and writing chops.