Cogito ergo sum.

 

We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful what we pretend to be

In the current digital age, almost everyone writes. We write text messages, Facebook statuses, and emails. While older generations constantly seem to lament a loss of literacy, current generations write daily to communicate. But are we all writers? Is the word writer a loaded word that signifies something more than “one who writes”?

My first instinct is to take a harmonious, relaxed, inclusive, unpretentious approach: “Everyone is a writer! We all have something to say! Even text messages can be poetry!”

funny-text-message-poem-roses-are-red

Nobody said they had to be *nice* poems.

But then I turn this question on myself. If someone were to ask me the question “Are you a writer?” would I feel comfortable responding affirmatively? Or would I feel presumptuous and unqualified to include myself in the category of writer? When I show people my artwork, I often hear: “Oh, I didn’t know you were an artist!” But I always rebuff this classification. “Oh no, I’m not an artist,” I demure. “I just make artwork sometimes. But I wouldn’t consider myself an artist.”

So my answer clearly needs modification. In debates in the post modern world of art about what qualifies as “art,” I always default to: if someone says it’s art, it’s art; now you can decide if it’s good or bad art.

"Fountain" by Duchamp

“Fountain” by Duchamp.  A urinal turned upside-down… or a piece of artwork by the most influential artist of the 20th century?  You decide.

I think that this answer better reflects what I think about who a writer is: if someone says they are a writer, they are a writer.  Now it’s up to you to decide if they are a good or bad writer.

50 shades

You decide.

 

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