By Rachel Arandilla
I NEVER understood how artists can be so snobbish against people who have gone commercial and made money from their art. To me, to decide to become an artist is almost synonymous to a life of martyrdom — you’re sure as hell are going to be broke for the rest of your life.
However, I have slowly begun to understand the snobbery, as I evaluated my own feelings towards writing. In all honesty, I squirm every time people call me a blogger — I almost always make the correction and tell them, “Yeah, I’m a writer,” before I go on and tell them that I appear on other publishing platforms aside from my own blog.
I don’t know why I have negative feelings towards blogging. Maybe because in this day and age, anyone with a camera phone can be called a blogger, an influencer, a content creator. The barriers to entry have become low.
I am amazed at how Andy Warhol had predicted the future. In his words: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Warhol made the bold statement 50 years ago and it is eerie at how precise he was with predicting the future. Now, fame is fleeting — easy to achieve, and easy to lose as well.
So I tell people that I’m a “writer.” That my craft go beyond the digital sphere and I can be seen on print, on the news, on books. Without noticing it, I had become one of those “snobs” who scoff at commercialism!
To come across TLDR — millennial-speak that meant “TOO LONG DIDN’T READ” — is the nightmare of any writer. The writer’s only validation, after all, is to be read.
Because don’t we all do it? A perfect click-bait article is enough for us to share it on our news feed without even reading the whole article. No one reads anymore.
“The difference between a writer and a blogger is that brands want to be attached to bloggers,” I heard in a conversation.
That was the definite truth.
But does the writer care if they don’t get brands to promote them? Probably not much, although the writer’s heartbreak will probably come from realization that their content is indigestible and irrelevant.
What use is it for a writer to pen a perfect, well-constructed essay piece if no one reads it, because it’s “TLDR”?
Because often, writers write for themselves, but bloggers speak for the people. Even if bloggers are more accustomed to selfies, the writers’ vanity is found in their own words.
I didn’t meet a person more vain than a writer, until I met one in a conference. I remember he had just published a book, and I wanted to get to know more.
“Oh, you’re a writer, too?” I asked, making small talk. “Me too.”
“No, I’m an author,” he corrected.
I smirked in my head, and took the mental note: maybe if I ever get myself to actually publish my book — I could then upgrade the snobbery and call myself an “author,” chin up high.