Sunday, August 19, 2007


I am Also A Writer

Helen wrote something very kind in the comments of the last post. It meant more to me than I can possibly say.

I have had, since I was very young, a "way with words". I have always said that if I have nothing else, I can write.

When I moved back to Vancouver about 24 years ago there was an incident with my bank. I was transferring money from one province to another and there were a number of fuck-ups that annoyed me. And so ... I Wrote A Letter.

Let's just say that the result of the letter was that all of the bank charges were reversed and I never had a moment of trouble with that bank from that day forth.

My father also banked at the same place, and he went to talk to his banker a week or two after I came back here. The man said "is Janice XXX your daughter?" Dad said yes. The manager said "Oh, she certainly has a way with words." And dad said "Oh god, you didn't piss her off, did you?" The manager said, "apparently so." My father said "I'm so sorry, and I hope they'll grow back."

So since I started blogging about three years ago, I've considered this to be "writing". There's another blogger who I used to read avidly and for whose baby I knat some things. She wrote in the comments of another blog that I read something along the lines of "but we're writers, not bloggers" and it stung like salt in an open wound.

I immediately removed her from my sidebar, deleted her from my bloglines, and I haven't read a word she's written since that day.

It hurt.

I wrote to another friend, a many-times published author, and said to her, "do you consider blogging to be writing?" She said "dude, you're writing, so of course it's writing" or something of that sort, and that it was an accepted genre.

So yeah, I'm also a writer.

The point of this post, I think, is that you shouldn't let others define your art. If you write, you're a writer, if you paint you're a painter. If you believe what you do is art ... it is.

And fuck anyone who says it isn't.


I had one of those slap-in-the-face moments a few weeks ago, from a coworker, no less. "You are so funny in writing (the coworker reads my blog and my numerous emails), but it just doesn't come across when you speak."

Mind you, this coworker has never heard me speak in public (I have them eating out of the palm of my hand most of the time.) only in private settings like board meetings when I'm not supposed to be funny!

A pox on them all!
You've hit a definite nerve with me with this post and the last - about validation, and recognizing our skills, and being comfortable with what they are and who we are - I am working hard to be comfortable within myself with the fact that I knit professionally, and write - my goal is to tell people these things without feeling pretentious or apologetic when I do - thanks for articulating so well what I have been feeling of late...
I'm going to go cry, now. When I am done, we can hug and be artisty scribblers together.

And, hey, congrats on the store!
There is nothing like getting some validation!

1. I totally made my mechanic cry once after I wrote a Letter.

2. I also got fired ("laid off," officially) because I wrote too well. My idiot boss didn't read my monthly reports to the board oh, ever, and after 6 or 7 months was prompted to flip through them, and I'd been filing my safety concerns with the board the entire time. He told me I wrote too well and that it was going to get me fired. And the next week, I was "laid off."
"I'm sorry.. I hope they grow back".. ROFLMAO. Good one.
Amen and Hallelujah! And may itchy yarn curse those who stand in our way. funny! My husband will always warn folks "Just don't piss her off, whatever you do,!" Me? poker face on the outside and beaming on the inside.
You DO have such a way with words, I never miss a post.
And it just so happens that you are one of my favourite writers/bloggers/fibre artists!

P.S. I have started to use the "coffee bean" wool for something. I won't say what until it's finished. (That's code for "if I ever finish it"!)
geesh Louise..I missed the entire boat of writing but I blog..therefore I write...but not professionally ..
You my dear lady..have a profound way with words..I always enjoy your natural flow..keep it up!!
So if blogging isn't writing then what the hell it it?

When I was living in Winnipeg, the city decided to make a $2,000,000 purchase of a painting. We all thought it was going to be a Monet or a Di Vinci or even a Van Gogh. Something fabulous. Turns out it was a huge canvas with three stripes of colour on it. Done with a paint roller no less. If that is art worth 2 mil, your cow should fetch a bloody fortune!

Writing is simply thought and emotion in words that others read and appreciate.
Heh. I remember back when you were just an emailer. ::smooch::
No shit! Or 'Right on!' And I once knew an 'artist' in Booneville NY (don't ya love the name?) who had painted some cow and somebody in town said well, that doesn't look like MY cow. To which the artist replied, no it is not your cow, it is my painting of your cow. And btw... I have a 3rd degree tae kwon do black belt (but I 'retired' back in December, after 20 or so yrs). I'd've had a blast talking (sparring???) with your stalker! It's like when knitters get together-gab gab gab!
Wow. They really grow back?


(bisoux, sweetiepie)
Thank Gawd you're not the kind of person who would have shriveled up and stopped writing.
AMEN! And, can I borrow a copy of that letter? I have to go lop a few off of my banker tomorrow myself.
hell, yeah!
A second hell yeah!

Oh by the way I was in Gibsons and a drop spindle and a whole wack of fiber jumped in my backpack while i was there. If i go missing, send help. Or coffee.
IMHO, writers write because they must; artists express themselves in art because they cannot deny their nature. You are both an artist and a writer. You've had a run of bad luck that has left you doubting yourself, but things are about to change for you. Have faith and keep going in your true direction. Your persistance will be rewarded.
Blogs aren't writing, ha! I never miss one of your posts, and I always end up laughing and then thinking -- how can it get any better than that? You are most definitely a writer (way better than a lot of writers whose writings are on paper!), and we're glad of it. (In fact, your blog is one of the blogs I read and then think -- why am I blogging? This is SO much more fun to read!)
And fuck anyone who says it isn't.

I was reading along thinking, "yeah, you're right," and then when I got to the end, you just kicked some solid ass. Thanks for a great post.
If blogging ain't writing, then neither are all those collected letters, diaries, and journals written by people in the last several hundred years who somehow managed to get published. (Whether it was while they were alive at the time or not.) Holy shite, what an asinine and totally arrogant statement. It's like all those snotty critics who pan any books or movies that don't have some deep meaning, but are simply mindless (they always have to get "mindless" in there somehow) entertainment. You know; the ones who like to babble on about the dark undertones of the underlying subplot, and how it subtly reveals the psychological underpinnings of the character, and the tonalities of the camera work match the mood-driven events of a character's inevitable path, and this is all so superior to the meaningless crap we, the masses, like to destroy our brains with...

This is where I want to whap 'em on the head and say damn, people, I just want to enjoy a story. I don't give a fuck if it's great lit'rachoor. Don't necessarily want it to have some great meaningful depth, either. Usually I just want to be entertained and escape for a few hours. Any writing that can pull me into another world - or someone else's life - is good writing. So what is your problem with that, huh?

Critics. Almost as useless as used car dealers. (Ok, except for the fact that if they hate something, it usually means it's something you should at least check out, 'cause it's probably good.)

I blog. I've written some fanfic. I used to write stories for myself when I was a kid. As far back as I can consciously remember, I told myself stories every night before I fell asleep. I may never get published; I may only ever blog and write humongous emails and such. So? I'm a writer. I have to write. If I don't fit some uppity asshole's definition of a writer, screw them sideways.

And I loved your dad's comment! Oh, yeah - you are a writer. One I enjoy, too. See? Critics have no idea what the hell they're talking about.
Ah, yes... the anti-blog snobbery. My friend Annie, whom I met on a writers' bulletin board a hundred years ago, threw a major hissy fit when her father left the manuscript of the first book she wrote in a New York cab.

I understand the hissy fit.

What I don't understand is how someone with that sensibility can look me straight in the eye when I ask if she read a particular blog entry of mine and say, "Of course, I just kind of skim it. I don't read the whole thing."

Of course.
My son keeps telling me to collect my writings into a book. See, I am busy surviving breast cancer, and the first time around, I sent regular e-mail updates to my "friends, relatives, and prayer partners." The second time around, I did the same, and then found myself with a blog. I posted all of my updates there, and some more stuff. Some of the entries are better than others, but ain't that the way it goes. We write to communicate. I hope we can communicate clearly.

And fuck anyone who says it isn't.

Damn straight. I've had that philosophy for years.

Maybe they did grow back but with polka dots. Just so that they never ever forget.
I agree. And woe to those who don't see that writing is... putting words down in an order that pleases you. There are so many ways to be a writer (blogs, poetry, stories, journals, books, journalism, letters...).

But it comes down to: I write, therefore I am a writer.

Personally, I need to write, and I love to write, and I hate to write, and I sneak time to write, and I plan vacations around writing, and I avoid writing... It is my health tonic, my deadly addiction, my love and my tormentor all at once.

Yeah, I'm a writer.

Next time anyone says you aren't, depending on your mood, either laugh or hit 'em with whatever's to hand. Just don't let them bleed too much on the fiber.
Of COURSE you are a writer! Did you ever doubt it? When you ARE a writer, it doesn't make any difference what anyone else thinks, you still ARE.

And I find your writing amusing and thought provoking, even when I don't know what/who you are talking about.

You write like the imaginary "back door friend" I wish I had in real life.
I consider myself and entertainer. Whether it's writing, speaking or knit circle I tend to be witty and get a good laugh. Of course bringing wine helps with these things.
You're one hell of a writer, babe, and you know it. I keep coming back, and I'm an easily bored, fussy bitch.
Of course you're a writer. Me, I'm more of a notater. (sp?)

And where were you when I was fighting with Wells
Fargo? I needed a Letter! Well, next time.
I agree heartily with a

I think the art vs. craft debate (or "that's not REAL because you're not doing it X way" or variations on that theme) is idiotic and demeaning. If I think that what I do is art, then HELL YEAH it's art. Nobody else should be able to make that call. They might comment on my technique or craftsmanship or size of my breasts, but it doesn't make it art or not.
Yeah, BigAlice said it. And so did Lyda, my fellow Pollyanna. And so did you.
My left foot is getting "really itchy" and wants to be up against the head of little miss "but we're writers, not bloggers". May I kick her? Huh, please, please, please may I?
Perfectly said.
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