A List of Things That Don’t Make You A Writer
When I moved to Austin, I was surprised to learn that every guy and gal hanging out at a coffee shop was a novelist, every barista was sitting on a few truly outstanding, and unpublished, literary masterpieces, and everyone with a beard, a bike or a flowery skirt was either a great poet, the next Flannery O’Connor or the creator of the most amazing movie script in the history of scripts. It took me a week to figure out it was all bullshit. Then I learned that it’s even worse online. To help you figure it out faster, and to clarify things for all the “writers” out there, here’s a list of things that don’t make you a writer:
- Owning a laptop.
- Going to a coffee shop.
- Owning a cat.
- Putting the word author in your Twitter bio.
- Drinking/talking about/enjoying coffee.
- Living next to a university.
- Hanging out with writers.
- Telling people you’re working on something.
- Putting on a “funny” literary shirt.
- Naming your pets after characters in famous novels.
- Reading Rick Moody or pretending to have read and/or enjoyed David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon.
- Having a Goodreads account.
- Listening to obscure bands that like to use more than twenty words per song.
- Watching a lot of art films.
- Complaining about the state of publishing.
- Going to AWP.
- Saying authors are your heroes.
- Hating James Patterson.
- Hating YA.
- Talking about writing on Facebook.
- Sharing fake word counts.
- Being unemployed.
- Being a fucking beer snob.
- Wearing glasses.
- Correcting your friends’ grammar.
- Describing yourself as an author/writer/wordsmith.
- Living in an artsy (aka gentrified) part of town.
- Applying to low residency MFAs.
- Having ideas.
- Thinking you have what it takes to write a novel.
- Reading more than ten books per year.
- Skimming through literary blogs.
- Claiming no one understands you.
- Buying a typewriter.
Yeah, basically the only thing that makes you a writer is writing, so get to it.
Gabino Iglesias is a real writer and here is the link to prove it.