Wherever one goes these days, it is hard to avoid “writers”. Cafes and park benches bristle with the invisible output of flying fingers, or thumbs, as people bang away on their devices. So much writing going on! We will exhaust the world of words. Where do all of those words go? People everywhere are producing “content”. But we don’t go around calling ourselves “content providers” — we are writers! But we are writers in the same way that a person with even the cheapest flip phone is a “photographer”. Yes, for the most part, we are content providers.
But, some of us aspire to be writers. We take courses, like this one on WordPress, and practice our nascent craft. What does it really take to be a writer?
One thing sure seems to be discipline. This course and others force us to write when we aren’t in the mood, when our ears are ringing (like now), when we would rather eat/sleep/have sex/do nothing. Perhaps writing is one of those things that are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So, to be a writer you must write. Some need to set aside a certain time of day, and some can just be disciplined enough to squeeze writing in when possible.
To write regularly a good place helps. But for travel writers, and writers who have to work to feed themselves, such a place, a singular place, is a luxury. Laptops and pads help, as does having the means to take notes at hand. We, almost all of us anyway, have some sort of electronic device we can write on any time or most any place. Problem, sort of, solved. Hence the writers in coffee shops and on park benches, or at a kitchen counter in a cheap airbnb.
Time, tools and place. These seem to be the necessary elements, but the most important thing is ideas. Inspiration can come to us any time or any place. Being a writer requires being an observer and listener. People have written important books from jail, and from seldom-left lofts. A cell and a good imagination can provide grist for a book. Traveling the world leaves some bereft of any thing to say.