Basic are essential to life. They’re also essential to looking good, but that’s a piece for a different blog. I’m doing a lot of thinking about the basics of writing and the fact that writing requires coming multiple physical and mental process in one concerted effort to convey information and ideas.
I really started thinking about this when I saw a comment from a friend on Facebook who shared that an editor from a web content mill said they write for a “post literate society.” Might I add it was also was said on stage during the largest blogging conference in the world, BlogHer.
I can’t stop writing that phrase, mainly because I don’t think I have the language necessary to discuss “post literate” intelligently. Well I have a few choice words, but they’re not ladylike. What does that mean for writers? Those of us whose most dangerous weapons are our pens, and hopefully a healthy dash of acerbic wit. I’ll be quiet honest with you, it was my hope that with all of hype around Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman” that people would indeed discover the joy of walking into a bookstore and opening the pages of a book. That they would take the time to smell the ink, paper, dust, and all of the other heady, erotic scents founds in these bastions of intellect and they would start to read.
Instead they were all looking at their smart phones. Parents weren’t reading in the children’s area while their kids picked out books, they were on Facebook. (Have I bummed you out yet?) What do we do, we the writers mulling about in this post literate society who are still trudging and toiling away in the hopes of one day achieving what every writer wants more than anything: a place in the Dewey Decimal system.
I have no idea. For now, for me, I’m going back to basics and starting with a small list. 1. Read 2. Write every day, even if it’s crap 3. Journal 4. Remind myself that I’m not Proust, nor e.e. cummings 5. Walk — To get out of my world and into another 6. Drink water — I’m pretty sure I replaced my blood with coffee some time ago 7. Breathe