I’ve called it “my work” … which sounds pretentious as hell. Like I’m trying to be some kind of artiste, high-falutin’, high-nosed, tight-assed self-righteous idiot who thinks art is a black velvet fruit painting. Or worse, someone who hurls gallon cans of paint at a canvas and calls smearing fecal matter over poster board “art”.
Work? I dunno. I have a lot of fun with it. It’s not always easy, and not just anyone can do it, contrary to a popular notion I’ve heard out there. But is it really “work”? Hm. If I’m having this much fun and there’s no commute, I don’t think it’s work. Besides, there’s no money involved.
I’ve called it “my writing,” but honestly, I’m using a computer. In the strictest sense of the word, I’m not “writing” anything. I’m typing. But it sure sounds less meaningful somehow when I say “my typing”. “I’m typing for publication.” “Hey, will you critique my typing for me?” “I’ve joined a typer’s group. We meet once a month to give each other feedback and encouragement on our typing.” “Are you going to the typer’s conference next month?” Hm. I dunno. What do you think?
I’ve called it a “piece” – “I wrote a piece today…” or “Did you see that piece I sent you?” But c’mon – I’m ASKING to be the butt of a joke that way. Again, I sound like a self-important snob who thinks too much of himself and too little of anything else. It sounds like I’m staring down the end of my nose at the bourgeois, unwashed masses and find them revolting, and I wear my beret at an angle with my cigarette in a slim, black holder. I have a tiny, waxed moustache, no? And I speak and laugh through my nose. It’s a piece, all right. A real piece of… Well.
So, do I call it “fiction”, plain and simple? It’s a little tedious to both write and read repeatedly. “My fiction” seems so … I dunno. Possessive, maybe. Obsessive. It’s not really my fiction, it’s just fiction I produced. I produce it for the rest of the world, to read, enjoy, ridicule, hate … whatever. I give it to the world and its people to have for their own use (I mean, as long as they’re not violating copyright or making money with my stuff … that’s exclusively MY domain, yo).
I don’t know what I call it. I hope it’s entertaining, but … I’m betting a lot of people hate it. I’d love to believe it’s worthwhile, but how would I know?
So, what would you call it? If you’re a writer, what do you call it?
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