Note: This short piece describes the mythology around being a writer—it is not an autobiographical or biographical work.
A writer is an artist, writing when the muse strikes, wearing bright green leggings and a large white t-shirt, painting words across a huge canvas while listening to internal music. Just like creating abstract art permits claims of artistic talent, writing in a journal and diary or writing-free verse poetry allows one to be dubbed a writer. What about that essay written in fourth grade about the water-cycle? Yes, she's a writer.
Inspiration is key to the writer; once inspired, all that remains to be done is the word-churning. Everything comes naturally for her—this is what she was born to do. It's a gift requiring little for fulfillment: the ability to dream and imagine. Perhaps she is a child who can be left alone to play in the sandbox. She can work when she wants as a free-lancer, without worrying about deadlines or story topics—the money will follow her musings. Her editors and agents will take care of dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” before publishing. They might even separate the fruits of the writer’s mind into decodable language to make it easier for the non-gifted to understand the written words.
To call her muse, she drinks the night away. Alone in her writer’s studio, she talks to the walls as her characters come to life. Her characters personally lead the story while her pen follows in drunken obedience. There are traces of needle-work near her stock of bottles; she turns to it in moments of desperation for motivation.
Her hair is frizzy like Einstein’s and there is madness in her eyes. Maybe she doesn't really shower every day as she loses herself in her work. She smokes at her desk, bookshelves lining her walls and books spilling out of crevices she’s forgotten. The lighting is dim so her musings are not disturbed by external nonsense. She talks only with her agents and editors from her office studio and takes lone walks through the woods near her cabin. Her sponsor ensures that she lacks nothing in her mission to write her next masterpiece. Despite being a little unique and friendless, she has the right connections in the business to ensure publication and continue striking it rich with every book she releases.
Her books are bound to succeed because she has had a tragic life. Her parents died in a car crash, she had to drop out of school in order to flip burgers for survival, her heart was crushed when her fiancé left her for a trophy wife, and she was homeless for many months until her writing talents were discovered by an affluent Donald Trump.
She writes about her experience, that’s what makes her work sell like lemonade in the summer. She has a private fortune which she will take into her grave because she has no family to pass it down to. Unless—and there is a chance—she has an estranged child hidden from the world. Possibly the fruit from one of her many affairs and put up for adoption when she could not afford him.
She is a writer and will remain famous for eternity. She is a writer because she was born one. No matter how hard I try, I don’t think I can ever be her. I cannot be a writer because it wasn't my destiny and I show no symptoms of ever become one. In conclusion, I cannot be a legend.