I was scrolling down my Twitter timeline the other day and I read someone’s repost from Thought Catalog saying something along the lines of knowing better than to post shit from this site, but he couldn’t resist that particular article. This guy is a journalist and is proud to be one, and he thinks that other writers (bloggers, per se) aren’t “real writers” because they don’t write about the news, sports, business, or some other incredibly important thing that the public needs to read. And because they don’t have that much-coveted black-and-white byline.
Now wait a minute. Who ever said that writing for a newspaper is the only valid form of writing?
I took Journalism in college but I don’t have the patience (or understanding) to write about current events or similar topics. But I don’t think that means I’m not a writer. I don’t think that anyone who writes online is less of a writer than those who get published in newspapers or magazines.
Personally, I don’t agree with all the articles on Thought Catalog. In fact, I sort of loathe listicles (even when I’m guilty of writing some of my own) and how people repost them as if they were excerpts from the Bible. I find it funny how articles like “10 Boyfriends You Meet In Your Life” or “27 Best Tips For Twenty-Somethings” are quoted as if they were official lists that are completely fool-proof and have been researched for the past century. I don’t agree with some satires here that are entirely too offensive or outrageous to be effective.
I’ve read hundreds of comments about how Thought Catalog is on the decline and I understand where some of these readers are coming from. But nonetheless I appreciate Thought Catalog for its variety. There is something in it for almost everyone, from opinions on current events to the odd listicles to emotional pieces on life and love. People are encouraged to write, no matter which culture they grew up in or if they’re “real writers.”
Thought Catalog isn’t a Bible or an award-winning entity like Time, and I highly discourage anyone to date someone who thrives on and lives their lives by what they read on here. But I don’t think writers from here or any other online publication deserve to be bashed for having an online byline. I don’t say this because I’m a blogger or because I’ve had other work published here. In fact, I am no more than an amateur blogger who insists on writing about what little life experience I’ve had. But I am still a writer. Even when my work is no longer published anywhere other than my ratty journal, I still believe I am a writer.
I’m tired of being afraid to write because I’m scared to be judged on my intelligence for not writing about “more important things.” I’m tired of not writing because I’m not a “real writer” if I’m not a journalist. Or a novelist. Or a highly successful blogger.
I mind when I see articles on here that, in my opinion, are utter bullshit. I mind when I read comments about how this website has deteriorated and also when I read reposts about how Thought Catalog is the best damn thing on the planet and we should all bow down to it and live our lives by its awesome code. I don’t mind when I hear about how some writers are better than others, but I mind most of all when people start ranting about who, about what and where people can and cannot write.
It’s okay if you’re a renowned journalist or a second-rate wannabe blogger. But never tell anyone that they cannot or should not write.
If you don’t like it, then don’t read it. Nobody forced you to click on that link or open that newspaper.
Write, and let write. That’s the way it should be.