I have been spurred into action after attending the 6th Annual Puerto Vallarta Writer’s conference. Rick Najera opened the conference with a very entertaining and informative talk. He started his career as a Shakespearean actor in red tights. No mean feat for a man of Mexican American heritage. I hale from Britain as does the bard himself and although I love Shakespeares work and am no stranger to red tights I have never performed his work in public at least. I suppose I can be forgiven, as the vast majority of my life has been devoted to the study and practice of medicine.
So who cares about writers? Rick shared a disturbing experience at an awards ceremony where the television series he had written won a number of awards. He talked to someone and said ” Do you know I wrote that award winning series?” and the dumb response was “Who cares about writers?”
I care about people, and I care about writers. They are the creative brains behind everything we enjoy and take for granted on a daily basis. Right now if you are enjoying reading my blog, it’s because I am a writer.
I step out of my front door and there are road signs and adverts. Someone wrote them. Warnings on electrical equipment, instruction manuals, nutritional break downs on puppy food bags and soup labels were all provided graciously by none other than writers. Personally I would prefer to live in a world where I am well informed rather than one where I always have to guess because no one wrote anything to help me.
This may seem trivial but just imagine our lives without writers, so may be we should all care about writers.
So what about those puffed up little twits in Hollywood and I probably shouldn’t mention Charlie Sheen, oops I just did. They owe their livelihood and celebrity status to some tortured writer who slaved over a script. Someone who lost sleep, suffered anxiety attacks, took to Southern Comfort and generally resorted to extreme measures to maintain their creative writing output.
As a paid writer you are condemned to deliver and you can’t be non productive. You get paid and somehow you simply have to come up with the bright ideas. There is no room for excuses, you provide results or you are terminated. Just imagine looking at that harsh reality in the mirror everyday.
Imagine a world without television, without movies or without songs. A world without movie stars, without pop stars or without sopa operas. I suppose we could all resort to books but that assumes that someone wrote them.
Now talking of books, Lisa Brackmann author of Rock, Paper, Tiger shared her agonizing road to success with candour and magnanimity. The process of publishing was lengthy and tortuous. Her own persistence and courage in facing the unpleasant reality that she was doomed to continue somehow sustained her. I admire her no end.
And what about investigative journalists? These heroic writers risk their lives and liberty to bring the truth to light. Writers then face possible unemployment, poverty, jail and even death in the pusuit of their art.
So given Lisa’s story of suffering and Rick’s picture of 5 to 13 writers encarcerated in a Hollywood office condemned to producing creative work on demand, and the grim reality of journalism, one has to ask “Who in the world would even want to be a writer?
It is very clear though that we live in a world in which we really can’t do without writers.
So who cares about writers? I do. Do you?