I went to see David Sedaris read from his work (David Sedaris is an awesome humor writer, for those that don’t know) in San Francisco Monday night. What made the night so amazing, next to the very very funny things he said, was the fact that once he put away his notes and started answering questions, he kind of jammed up. He started saying “um” and couldn’t directly find the right words to express himself. Now, even I am not cynical enough to enjoy someone else stumbling through speech. What made it memorable for me was the fact that it gave me hope that you don’t have to be a great speaker to do book tours. I left the Opera House with my sides hurting from laughing, but also the notion, “If he can do that, I can do that”. Now all I have to do is find a publisher so I can earn my living through book tours. And, oh yeah, write that book first. Minor detail.
I also liked the way he talked about being a writer. He felt that just like the word “artist”, “writer” is something other people have to call you first. I understand what he’s talking about. I mean, I write. I write a lot, and I view the world through that particular lens. And sometimes I even allow myself to think I have talent and might make it some day. So writing is more than a hobby, it’s what makes me me, in part. But I have a hard time calling myself a “writer”, because it seems pretentious or something. That’s why I tend to stick with the safer phrase “I write”.