One of my writing friends the other day posted on her Facebook status that she was in a Starbucks and that people were actually writing in Starbucks. (Ok, I call her my friend, but she may inform me otherwise by the time I am done with this post.) I think that she was witnessing "poseurs" (or "posers" if you prefer that spelling): those mysterious creatures that claim to be writers, pretend to be writers, but have never actually sold a single piece of writing.
One of the big things about being a poseur is that you must write in public---it somehow increases your writing cred if you write in public.
At this point, I must admit that I have been guilty of writing in public. (*waves hi at his soon-not-to-be friend*)
Heck, on Friday night I wrote at two public locations. The first place was a small pizza shop on Colfax (Famous Pizza); it did nothing for my writing cred---there were just the two employees there. The second place was at the First Unitarian Church; again, no gain for my cred---people just thought I was sitting in the corner being anti-social. Honest, I wasn't being anti-social: I was just tempting to finish an article that I am hoping to offload on someone for a bit of cash.
Of course, that last bit is why I would have to hand in my Poseur Union card (provided that I still had one---I lost mine the day I sold my first piece of writing). No poseur would dream of stooping down to the level that they work on pieces just to unload them for small green pieces of paper (exchangable for all debts public and private). There is no cred to be gained actually working as a writer. It is ok to be misunderstood; it is not ok to be a hack.
I have done a lot of writing in public. At one point, I was doing two hours a day four days a week of writing in public. Ok, I was standing behind the counter in a food court downtown, pretending to wait for customers (after two o'clock, we saw very little traffic)---nevertheless, it was writing in public. Interestingly enough, most people thought that I was actually a college student.
Before that job, another restaurant job---more writing in public. I actually wrote the very first piece that I sold between making hamburgers. And before that writing in the high school cafeteria, again public writing, but that is a whole different story about why I was guilty of writing in public at that point (oldest of eight kids---do I need to tell you why I was writing in public rather than at home?).
So there you have it. I have done a lot of writing in public. But alas, I have absolutely no writing cred---at least among the poseurs. The sad part is I would rather have a great big bag of cash instead.
Oh wait, it is not my writing friend that I am going to lose; it is any and all poseurs reading this blog that are going to wave goodbye to me. That is not going to be good for my writing cred, is it?