Guest post by Sherri Rabinowitz
“Oh? You’re a writer? I am too. I have it all in my head, I just can’t get it down on paper.”
“You’re published? Great, can you help me to get published too?”
“My son is a writer, he’s 5 years old.”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? Does it annoy anyone else? I usually smile politely and give them kindly advice, but it amazes me that everyone thinks they are a writer. Like acting, people seem to think that anyone can do the job. Since I have been both, I can tell you neither job is easy. It is not something just anyone can do.
As writers we work alone, using all our training and knowledge to bring about good prose. It takes talent and discipline. Yet, the public seem to think that anyone can write a story, a book, a movie, or a play. I guess I can’t really blame them with Reality Stars writing best sellers. Some of the Reality Stars do have the ability like Bethenny Frankel, I really enjoyed her books but it annoys me that certain people who do not know how to speak proper English (like Snooki) can have best selling books. What is that about?
Culture is important. It brings knowledge to a civilization and of a civilization. When an archaeologist studies a civilization it is the culture that tells them about who they are as a people. It is the art and writing that makes Egypt, Rome, Greece and China great. The great tribes that became the Hebrews and early Christians would not be revered or understood without their writings. Cultures that pass down their stories through bards, like the Gypsies, are judged on the tales they tell and the art they make. It means something. The beauty of such art shows who they are and what they want to share with everyone and themselves.
It would sadden me if my culture would be judged on reality shows and snarky gossip blogs. I love blogs and have several of my own I am referring to mean spirited gossips that have blogs. They tear people apart for fun and money. I hope our culture would be judged on the great writings, films, plays and TV shows that we do have. Well written and acted performances that are produced and directed with ability and knowledge – like Citizen Kane or plays like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. There is a market for art that is not taken from films and TV shows of long ago or following people being rude and snarky, I just don‘t see anyone taking a chance on it. If this sounds like I’m being a bit snarky myself, I guess I am a bit ticked off. I would like to watch a good scripted show that is a product of my own country. I spend most of my time watching British shows because their culture seems to be able to combine both great art and Reality TV. We haven’t learned this – the mighty dollar seems to be the most important thing to the powers that be and they will dictate what future generations think of us. Is that what everyone wants?
I would like to glance at the best seller list without seeing people on it that don’t even read books, let alone write them (Snooki again, I‘m really sad to say.). Maybe it’s just me, but I hope there is a change for the better. And very soon.