We Writers of Today
We are this, that, everything — and nothing.
A writer has to read. It’s how heshe knows what others have thought and done, it’s how heshe compares what heshe has thought and done with others and eventually enhance and grow himherself (the English language needs to fix a common term to denote humans beyond gender, doesn’t it?).
While it is possible for a scientist to see new without ever reading Sophocles, a writer will be incomplete without knowing that Archimedes jumped out of his bath. Such is the nature of a writer: interpret and experience everything possible. A writer is this, that, everything! Just as what Keats said about Poets:
A writer also needs to publish. How else will heshe be read and eventually earn money, name, or whatever heshe desires?
Now, the writers of the old days had limited resources to read. It was limited by what you had in the local library, what was published in the local magazines, what graced the local bookstores and what one found on hisher travels.
All those — by their very nature — contained limited copies and if one wanted to all of a sudden feel another culture and did not at that moment of impulse get access to its relevant or best thinkers, one lost the opportunity and whatever could have been provided to him in that moment of inspiration. Constraint of translation was another issue. Therefore, their reading resource was limited by space-time.
A traditional poet in Nepal had to depend on all these chances to stumble upon, say, Nietzsche and likewise introduce godlessness in his society or critique the Nietsche popularized idea of god-is- dead — preparing the culture for an impending philosophy or opening new horizons. This way the readers were also limited by space-time.
Similarly, the publishing side was also limited. You sent your writings to publishers, editors, experts and if they didn’t like you, your opportunity to speak to the general people was gone. You would be limited to sharing your ideas with friends and families and if lucky and they liked it: your ideas would be shared around and eventually convince those relevant.
But we of today aren’t limited by those things. Thanks to the Internet and supporting devices, we can dig and read almost whoever we want, whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want. Not only that, we of today can publish whatever we write, whenever we like and expose our ideas to the world at large. Whether others read or not is a different matter. Yet, the word had gone out there, published — waiting its time in the sun.
What does all this mean?
We of today have immense possibilities. We of today have immense opportunities. We of today have access to resources and convenience to expose naked every idea ever conceived and explode new ideas not yet imagined. All that at a crazy speed, depth and width. What is there to stop us? People similar to us are around, searching, waiting for people similar to them to discuss similar ideas and feelings; all of us are here ready to learn, share, expose and explode. The fact that we still care about these things proves that we haven’t settled on old ideas, we aren’t convinced with old values and present situations. It has proved that we all yearn for present-day interpretation of everything — why else would we bother to write and read the contemporaries when we have a plethora of works lying around virtually free?
All it takes for us is to be open-minded, explorative, willing to learn and most importantly: somehow manage the time and space to do all that.
Another thing we writers of today have is writing tool convenience which also means psychological freedom. This piece was completed by the writer on a cell phone standing in the street waiting for his partner to arrive — without worrying about looking like an idiot!