The Literacy of Being Anything

By March 13, 2016 BlogPost No Comments

Alright, so this is a generally un-formed and fresh thought, so bare with me.

I was spending an evening this weekend slouched in front of my opened journal, determined to finally vomit some words onto the page. And to make it better I had a trusty glass of Canadian whiskey by my side (I’m of age, don’t worry). To top of this literary image, I was donning a warm sweater, a scarf rolled along my neck and a soundtrack of smooth Beethoven filling the backdrop’s void.

There’s certainly this cultural and societal trope of the drunken and lost soul of the writer, eager to fly out of their body through the painting of words and ideas onto a page. It’s this very romantic trope that, despite how much it fills any fan of literature with glee, seems to do more harm than good.

There seems to be this certain amount of literacy that comes with being a professional or accomplished in any sort of particular field. To be a politician you have to know about politics, and you have to act and dress a certain way when it comes to running for office. You could say the same of writing, too. It’s almost as if you’re not a true writer if you don’t play right into the tropes of the basic writer; tortured, drunk off their mind, and aching to cleanse their soul.

If you watched House of Cards, Season 3 or 4, you saw this same sort of cultural and societal literacy: the drunken writer, stumbling almost through the White House, somehow able to change political tides with the whim of his pen.

My question is this: are there instances where tropes and certain ideas of literacy define a career that you find yourself in, and is this largely a positive or negative thing?

Leave a Reply