Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Graphomania


“The irresisitable proliferation of graphomania among politicians, taxi drivers, childbearers, lovers, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, officials, doctors, and patients shows me that everyone without exception bears a potential writer within him, so that the entire human species has good reason to go down the streets and shout: 'We are all writers!'"


Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting



So, my friends... it is time to openly admit something that most of you have suspected by now:

I am possibly- or very probably- a graphoman.

Graphomania is a well-known, very unflattering concept back home.

Looked it up, as never heard an English speaker use that word before, and, of course, found the above quote as well as this explanation:

Kundera's feeling about graphomania may be explained by the fact that such pejorative meaning of graphomania is actually often used in Post-Soviet block to denote foolish, unprofessional and excessive writings (not only in the form of literature, but also science. (Wikipedia)

I once knew this older chap, who loved to write stuff and then e-mail it to everybody in his address book. Until, one day, someone told him to stop spamming. He, of course, got terribly insulted and sent us all another email, where he apologized for wasting our time, and asked that, should we desire to stay on his mailing list, we let him know. Most of us kept quiet.

These days, I can only imagine how that lack of enthusiasm made him feel.

But it is too easy to become a nuisance. I have decided, after one attempt to share the Pink Slippers story with some mummy friends, to avoid imposing my writing self on them. It is unfair and dangerous. First of all, it is impossible to expect friends to take you seriously. Come on! You might be able to fool some strangers, but not your friends.They know it is you. They know you only pretend to be a writer.

So no, not a good idea to annoy friends.

Who else is there to abuse?

Your mother thinks you are a genius- whatever you write.
Your husband is too afraid of you to tell the truth.
Your child can not read yet.

So, that leaves...yep. The internet readership. People who barely know you and, therefore, might trust your voice. And might take you seriously. Or not. The good news is, you will not even know.

And this is why I will keep posting stuff on this blog. You are free of commitments such as motherly love, husband’s fear or friends’ embarrassment. You have a choice of whether to read it or ignore it.

Of course, I would really not want to be considered a graphoman.

But... that is just something that comes with the territory. And, without taking a risk of being viewed as one, nobody would ever become a real writer.

Anyway, and speaking of graphomania....check out my latest short story for Women's Forum. It is called Buterbrod.

11 comments:

  1. You're sooo wrong!!!!! Don't stop imposing on your Mummy friends...some of us like it and think you are a great writer even if you are our friend!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. ...or because I am your friend? :)))) thank you.

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  3. Of course I have a choice of whether to read you or ignore you. And I choose to read you, and I can tell you: no regrets at all. Whatsoever.
    Saludos.
    PS: I'll be very delighted to read you new story.

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  4. It's not a "graphomania" if you have something to say.

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  5. @Nata: But I am sure every graphoman is convinced he/she has lots to say! :)))

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  6. Scary, you are definitely graphomaniac, but your mania made us hooked:) I am not your friend, I don't even share your views, but I like reading everything you write (probably except for the fiction, because I generally prefer non-fiction). You are clever, observant, and have a great sense of humour. Moreover, you are not that sarcastic any more, at least you TRY to spare people's feelings:). So go on, be graphomaniac and one morning you'll wake up famous.

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  7. You're right, Scary, there are lots of people online who think they have things to say and that they say them in a writerly way. They all claim/aspire/pretend to be writers and they should be discouraged.

    BUT ...

    You are NOT one of them. Keep writing, please.

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  8. @Sofisticos: Oh, no! I am not sarcastic anymore? That is terrible. Yes, I noticed the lack of interest to my attempts at short stories :) But can't help it, I like practicing different things. One day, hopefully, a proper novel will happen.

    @Bill: Thank you. I hope so, but you know what I mean.

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  9. Readers decide if someone has something to say or not. There are no other metrics. Only readers can "discourage" people from writing by not reading them :)

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  10. There is a time and a place for civility.

    Online is not one of them.

    More sarcasm please !

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  11. @Fab Cook: Don't worry. She is still there. She'll be back. :)

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