The Writer’s Burden

Does this sound familiar? 

I am never more comfortable than when I am alone in a crowded place.

– The Introvert 

My girlfriend tells me that for a writer I’m not too adventurous in social circles. She says these things because she is an artist (a painter, a builder, a designer) and if “JK Rowling can pop up all over the place, why can’t you, Tristan Drue?” 

Ill-informed and completely fabricated quotes aside, this brings up an interesting point about the very nature of how creators work and the differences that seem to permeate throughout each field. Rappers, painters, performance artists, stand up comedians, actors, speakers, and others that have taken on the reigns of having a reactionary audience physically before them can aspire to find comfort in the crowd – i.e. if everything goes according to plan. The writer cannot.

The writer doesn’t perform, though many have romanticized this etching of graphite onto paper this penning of miraculous ink onto skin this typing of flawless poetry onto .doc files this rhythmically embellished tiptoeing of disjointed thoughts into the coin receiver of one’s noggin-made Jukebox to use upon further reflection of life, he or she sits the fuck down and talks to themselves. That is all. Sure, occasionally we read to a crowd, but nothing is better for that writer’s crowd than to take the story to a quiet place and to read it alone, losing themselves in the writer’s true voice – not that which was created by their given vocal chords. The writer not only steals your attention, but yours alone, demanding that you settle down and pay attention and if you don’t well, shit, I hope you pop back in sometime, it’ll wait, it’ll always be there. Read it whenever actually. It’s cool.

Anything said about the disparate space set between the writer and the wealth of other professional and hobby going artists is not to speak badly on anyone. They just do things differently is all. And I am a writer.

Everything is research. Everything is overwhelming, but worth writing about. We can have parties and can occasionally be the life of that party. Everything and anything can happen, but when the moment comes, it will be time to sit the fuck down (or stand, if you’re so inclined) and make up a story and if it’s novel length a year or two or more is likely to distract from everything else. Everything will no longer matter. 

I never need to find time to read. When people say to me, ‘Oh, yeah, I love reading. I would love to read, but I just don’t have time,’ I’m thinking, ‘How can you not have time?’ I read when I’m drying my hair. I read in the bath. I read when I’m sitting in the bathroom. Pretty much anywhere I can do the job one-handed, I read.

-JK Rowling

The other side of that coin is that the writer must lift their head up and see the world. It isn’t only represented in other stories – it’s right there and it’s beautiful if you look in the right places.  

“So, take your head out of your ass and stop distancing yourself from other people, Tristan Drue, you writer-you, pfft.”



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