You read that correctly….I QUIT!
I am not a quitter. In fact, I am typically the opposite of a quitter, if that makes any sense. I tend to work hard to surpass my tasks and goals, and actually overdo things, rather than quit. If I have an assignment at my full time day job, I take pride in reviewing it, adding to it, reviewing it again, adding extra notes, and I feel confidant handing it in to my supervisor knowing that I went over and beyond the task that I was entrusted with.
Over the summer months, I found myself so overwhelmed and under-balanced that I could not focus for the time it takes to write. I had a self publishing company relentlessly calling my cell to inquire about the status of my book, and I was turned down by a few “gigs” that I was hoping to be hired for, and in the end, I threw in the proverbial towel, and said “F_ __ It! I QUIT!
But…..here I am. After a few months of stepping back, and trying to figure out what I want out of my life, I decided to give writing another shot. I have ALWAYS been a writer, from the time I was old enough to put pen to paper, I would write in my diary, with the tiny brass lock and the ridiculously tiny key, that remained attached, so I wouldn’t lose it. I wrote secrets, and stories and poems. Sometimes I would write things like “I hate today” or “My mom is a B**tch”, and sometimes I would write about visions and dreams I had for my future or ponder to myself what kind of man I would marry and how many children I would have as an adult. The point is, I was ALWAYS writing. I can still smell the paper inside the tiny book. There is nothing like the smell of a good book…
Technology and the connection of people on the internet has really tightened up the community of “writers” in the world. Social media is merely an avenue of continual writing! It has made people who have never written anything in their lives, rely on a medium of communicating through writing, whether they understand that, or not! Even a simple LOL or Hey Whatsup? are forms of writing. We have gone from talking to everyone with our faces and voices and now engage through constant “writing”. And it has made people less social and more apt to talk to strangers. It has made “awkward situations” become memes that are written on “walls”. Snapchatters take time to take pics of themselves and write funny or cute captions, businesses don’t cold call people anymore, instead they find email addresses and try and capture them through writing. Its a unique combination of anti-social behaviour, creativeness and mourning the end of many eras of parties, and phone calls on telephones with cords (sometimes 2 households used the same phone), and coffee chats. Its hard to believe that people used to actually go out of their homes to see people face to face and have real conversations with them, with a cup of coffee or over a plate of food. People used to have groups of friends and family join them on weekends for games of cards so they could chat and catch up, or have parties (think Tupperware) in their homes where they would spend hours preparing snack items and sit amongst a small or large group of people and just “talk”. NOW all of that stuff is inside your phone, or inside your computer. Even all of the home parties are “on-line” now. I get continual “invites” to makeup parties and jewelry company parties, but you NEVER have to see the goods or the people who are selling. Its both compelling, and mind boggling. And ALL of it involves communication by writing.
You get invited to a “virtual party” that you are not interested in, or don’t have time for. What do you do? You click the box marked “CAN’T GO” and write the excuse on the person’s “page”. (Sorry I have plans that day) Just like that, you’re out! No need for further communication. Someone texts you at 2:00 pm on a Tuesday to ask you for a favour, you have the choice of “writing to them” and saying yes or no, or you have the ability to ignore it, and maybe write back to them a few days later, saying that you “just” got their text, and apologize for missing it. This has made us all very unaccountable, sometimes lazy and has given us more reasons to be “less social”. If that’s even possible.
So this brings me to my point, and why I struggled all summer long about whether or not, I should quit writing. In some respects, writing has enabled the human race to stop communicating to each other, as people! It has opened up all of the virtual detours where we can choose to ignore people or brush them off with a simple “k” or “lol”. It is the simplest form of writing, yet it says so much about a person’s attitude and personality, all through the taps of a “phone” . Why should I sit down and spend day after day, hour after hour, editing and rewriting words, and attempting to tell a very meaningful (to me) story, when, in the end, could have a review of an emoji (sad face) or response with an LOL . Has our world REALLY become that simple? People don’t punctuate. People don’t even spell real words anymore! Everything is acronyms and spellings like “kk” or “yup” or “wtf”. Do they actually learn grammar in school anymore? Or do teachers now show children how to communicate through text communication?
The other day I actually saw a review of a book online, and it was 5 emojis! Is that what writing has become now? It is becoming a lost art, just like the handprint turkeys we used to create, and be so proud of, in kindergarten. Or like the macaroni art we used to drag home to mom on Mother’s Day. It’s not unlike being a back yard mechanic that cannot work on any of the vehicles that are “made” now. All of the time and effort we can put into a writing piece, self judging, editing for accuracy, worrying about being vulnerable, can be reviewed with :( or :) or “lol”
Its actually quite heartbreaking.
I am not ready to quit. But I sure see writing through a whole new lens….I do it for my passion of a soon to be lost art. I do it to get all of my thoughts out. If I could, I would hand write each word on stationary paper, bordered with pretty flowers or a nice autumn motif, but then, publishers couldn’t accept it as “writing” and they wouldn’t be able to “write” back to me through the walls of their computer and send me their automated response, stating that they “have received it and will respond shortly” and respond again with their feedback that may or may not be their own words.
I have re-read this article and have fixed some words, punctuation, and have changed a few lines. I have made some grammatical amendments and have made sure that it gets my “point” across. Was it worth it? You tell me…..