Why I’m afraid to be called a “Writer”

I thought about never publishing this. Then I thought I’d just publish it. I didn’t want to publish it at first because I didn’t want to insult anyone on WordPress. However, having read it again and edited it, I realize that I don’t call out any one individual or blog in particular. Rather. I stay pretty general. I’m afraid to be called a writer for a very simple reason. On WordPress in particular, but also in my own personal life, there’s a common thread that I see among writers that disturbs me. 
They’re all dorks.

P.S. Trains don’t come here anymore just in case you didn’t put that simile together.

Very nearly all the writers I encounter online or in person are dorks! They’re moms living at home, surfing the web and writing silly stories while their husbands work. They’re middle aged men who, clad in brown sweater vest, pleated slacks, mustache, giant glasses, and balding scalp, sit pensively at a desk by a window, fresh paper, expensive pen, blank for days. They wait for inspiration to come and find them the way a boy waits for a train to pull into an abandoned station.

For instance, just look at Paul McCartney here! Has there ever been anyone cooler than Paul McCartney? No, there hasn’t.

It’s so frustrating to me! They have the opportunity to do something so cool, so original, yet none of that creativity, originality, or coolness permeates the rest of their lives! Not the way that it does for musicians or artists. These writers look like the last time they were fashionable was 1973. Their pictures stand, avatars on their blogs, as statuesque obelisks to commemorate a bygone era where sweatshirts with obviously homemade embroidery of a purple dragon was cool or even acceptable in public. This, an era so long ago, I have never known it. They whisper from the wardrobes of yesteryear of a desire to halt the passage of time and change the laws of what is considered “cool.”
Yet the divine judge of Cool and the laws he has designed do not change as with our winds on our oceans! Others cannot govern, change, or add a measure to what has been determined. To think so is a naive notion reserved for those who are timelessly and tirelessly lame. It is it not as though they know, yet care not. Their “look” does not carry the nonchalant breed of cool that accompanies such a fashion of throwing caution and rules to the wind. They are not James Dean. They are simply lame, unfashionable dorks. 
And so, even as I write, a fear grips me: am I doomed to follow in their footsteps and become myself, timelessly lame? I pride myself on being fashionable and cool, dapper even. If I continue to write, even if I never do it as a career, shall I also be over taken by the riptide of lame and carried into the ocean of uncool? Will my writing freeze my sense of what is fashionable in 2014 forevermore?
And yet, even as I am afraid, the sartorial insights of Albert Camus, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and this guy on the right give me peace for my fears. They prove to me that it is possible to be both cool and a writer. I’ve never heard of this guy on the right, but apparently he was a writer. He also looks quite dapper. His name is Dashiell Hammet. Each of these writers was considered rightly fashionable and cool in their time. If I am to continue in writing and to eventually become a writer, I must hold on to these great paragons of dapper and cool in the writing world. I shall look to them for hope. 

5 comments on “Why I’m afraid to be called a “Writer”

  1. Kate says:

    Do you think it’s possible that you haven’t met many writers?

  2. Kate says:

    Or maybe Middle Tennessee is not exactly a hub for the hip creative writers of the world? Seems possible.

    Melbourne is in fact in the middle of it’s annual writer’s festival.

    Here are the writers. Some of them even wear scarves!

    • JVRarick says:

      Those writers do generally look cooler than most of the writers I’ve seen and met. Maybe I should move to Melbourne? Maybe around the same time you come back? Our parents would totally love that.

      • Kate says:

        Great plan. You can join the Writer’s Victoria and go to the Melbourne Writer’s Festival and sit in cafes and write all day long and be super cool.

  3. Kristine Rarick says:

    Probably won’t surprise you to find out that Dashiell Hammett created, among others, Sam Spade, immortalized on the screen by none other than Mr. Very Cool, Humphrey Bogart 🙂

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