Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How Melania May Have Cinched the Writer Vote


Writers are a tough voting block to get.

We, by trade, move in single file. We socialize seldom. We need so much alone time that solitary confinement sounds like a great vacation spot to get work done.

We don't fit into any identity political box.

Our race, gender, sexual preference vary too wildly to be included in the groups who exclude. We rarely even include each other. Winning Ohio would be easier. Sink your advertising dollars there.

You can't reach us with empty promises wrapped in pithy phrases because we are the creators of pithy phrases. Or hope to be. But ones with more imagination. Less processed ingredients.

What we do get, however, are the struggles only writers understand: like having your written work attacked. Melania Trump, along with however many staff writers contributed, reviewed, or offered direction, made a mistake. A writer's mistake. I may not be able to relate to her wardrobe, but I can understand being human. And then getting pounced publicly for it.

I live in that unforgiving village. I've seen the torches and pitchforks.

It may have been a block of text posted for inspiration. Or a possible direction. Along with dozens of others. Have you ever seen a writer's draft file? It's a hot mess. It's the summation of every possible thought, idea, factoid, quote, or inspiration for a quote needed for this speech or any other speech until the end of time.

It's a junk drawer of ideas.

Add multiple hands and it's a junk room.

Then you start the cutting/rewriting/rearranging process, which may or may not include reconfiguring the drawer itself. It's a bloody business. Not one for the squeamish or those with better things to do than stare for hours into the distance in a trancelike state.

As a writer, missing the easy fix is something I've done myself. I've probably done it in this blog. (Crap. I can't see it, but I'm sure I have.) I've simply been spared the limelight of a national stage. So I get what she might be going through. The frustration at working so hard, stressing over every minutia, and still getting one area wrong. And believing that one area will be all anyone will remember.

Ah, unlikely.

For Melania, this will be old news in...oh...another half hour or so. Her white dress, however, will be selling for weeks.

And, on the scale of important issues in the world, well...this isn't one. We have a country facing tough days and tougher ahead. Even if her subjects and verbs disagree from now until November, we have more important discordant issues to discuss.

So, thanks Melania. Thanks for taking a walk in my shoes since my back would never want me walking in yours.

Just keep writing. It's the best any humans who dare to write can ever do.

PS
For additional insight on how the plagiarism mistake could have occurred, the Dilbert creator Scott Adams offers up a quick, f-bomb laden explanation. There's the language warning for you.

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