Monday, September 26, 2011


I'm a writer.

What does that mean? For some it might be about recognition; a published writer, in other words. Or for some it's about how much focus, time and attention is put into writing. To be a writer one must be serious about it, struggle with the art, stay up all night suffering from writer's block, or be paid for our efforts? Writers have bad hair, smoke cigarettes, drink too much. At least they do in the movies.

I know there are plenty of people who don't read or write. We were, for most of our history, a species of oral traditions that included dance, song, storytelling and sacred drama. Reading and writing is a recent accomplishment. I believe we're the only species that reads and writes. Is that correct?

Near the end of the twentieth century, I feared reading and writing were dying out. But then the internet came into its prime. Suddenly people were reading and writing again, with a passion!

The evolution of texting is similar in certain ways to the development of writing. Remember BFF and LOL and C U L8R. Of course abbreviations are still part of texting, but not nearly as much as at the beginning. Texts are quite sophisticated these days. People blog, or leave long comments on other blogs. They post notes on Facebook, also very clever status updates. The art of status updates on Facebook and Twitter is the way we write haiku in the 21st century. It's interesting to think about.

I have always been a writer of sorts. You should see the stack of personal journals I have, dating back to the 1970s. Holy cow I should get rid of those things! I used to write letters regularly, got in trouble many a time in high school for passing notes with friends. For awhile I was Queen of Postcards. Email? I loved it immediately, of course. No I haven't written a book, and have had only a tiny handful of things officially published, but I am a writer. Yeah.

Lately I am even moreso a writer than I once was. I'm posting consistently on two blogs, keeping up with my personal journal and I'm also writing on Evernote, a very cool app I use on the macbook as well as the iphone. I'm writing about my failed marriage, a really interesting experience. Bloody hell.

I'm glad reading and writing did not go the way of the dodo. At least not yet. If we didn't read or write, what the hell would I do with All The Words inside my head? I'm afraid the words might reach a critical mass after which I might spontaneously combust. I'm not really afraid of that happening, should say - but I do enjoy writing, I do.

Have a happy Monday. Shalom.


ellen abbott said...

status updates as haiku. I like that.

CS said...

Every now and then I have to remind myself that although I lament the state of reading and writing in this country, we are relatively speaking still a fairly literate society...historically great swaths of the population have been illiterate and that is no longer true in industrialized nations. So these days I suppose I lament that the main growth industry for writers/readers seems to be video game or entertainment system manuals.

I love your writing.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

In the 6th grade, one of the end of the year awards I received was "passes the most notes". This probably comes as no shock to anyone who knows me.

When I was very young, my mother would find crumbled papers under my bed of song lyrics and stories I had jotted down. Always writing.......or talking :)

I'm so glad you write!
Per previous post - yes we three are on a wavelength together. For sure. I knew it from the start and felt the strength of it when we met. Very glad.

The Pollinatrix said...

You are so truly a writer. You publish pretty much EVERY DAY!! That amazes me.

Reya Mellicker said...

CS - thank you! Means a lot coming from you.

Ellen - yeah, it is, right?

Jeanette I love your award! Ha!!

Yes Susan, I can not stop. Holy cow.

steven said...

reya. your writing is so pure and direct and then also magically sensible, passionate, and wise. your photographs are a form of writing also. the words are written in light, shadow, and colour. steven

Val said...

i am an avid follower of both your blogs - they delight inspire and uplift. sadly leaving comments is often a frustrating enterprise though. Thats so cool about the haiku status updates! i love words, the rhythm of a sentence and the sounds behind the spoken words too that form part of the effect.

Steve Reed said...

Most people who consider themselves writers say the HAVE to write. It's the way they process events and thoughts. I feel that way. I was writing in journals, like you, long before the advent of the Internet. (And like you, I should get rid of them!!)

I like the idea of tweets as haiku. I also like your observation that people actually write more now. It's funny how often I hear moaning about the death of the written word, especially long-form journalism, but you're right -- writing isn't dying. It's just changing.

Angela said...

How else could we communicate if not by written words, from one continent to the next, from us living today with those who were before us or come after us?
I love to read my grandmother`s diary, composed in her old-fashioned beautiful handwriting.
My grandchildren might read my blog-book one day, to learn about THEIR grandmother (did you have yours printed, Reya?)
Our blogs and comments and mails (yes, and postcards) interweave us with so many others. I like that.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve, yes I guess I have to write! It's how I understand many things. Sometimes I post a blog, or write in my journal. A couple of days later I'll re-read what I wrote at which time I suddenly actually "get" what I was trying to say.

My mind is that last to know.

Steven! Thank you.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

don't get rid of those old journals! who knows maybe one day parts of them will end up in the fleishman gallery....i can imagine it!!

you enhance the world by sharing your passion and gifts-of words and images!

you are a writer, you are an artist!


Jo said...

I love the intelligent, compassionate, spritual, and often humorous quality of your writing, Reya.

You are a brilliant writer, indeed! So glad you share your thoughts with us in all their lovely shapes and forms!

Kerry said...

You are such a good writer, Reya. Don't throw out those journals from the '70's!