Saturday, December 5, 2009

Julie & Julia - the Movie Version

I just watched the DVD Julie & Julia. It was okay. I had problems with the memoir, I had problems with the movie (though, as all of the reviews said, Meryl Streep did an excellent job).

One of my biggest problems with the movie, however, was the fact that Amy Adams, portraying Julie Powell, kept talking about how she "wants to be a writer." They kind of alluded to what I'm going to discuss in more detail in the movie, and I was going to let it slide, but...spoiler the end of the movie, they did one of those "words rolling across the screen like what we want you to read is uber-important but we're really just trying to wrap things up without another few days of filming" and in those words were contained "She is a writer."

Well, duh, she's a writer. Didn't she write every, or almost every, day for an entire year on that blog about cooking? Isn't that where her memoir came from, and this movie? (There were also annoying words to the effect that a movie had been made from her book. I guess it was supposed to be cute, but it actually just pissed me off.)

Basically, what I don't think the movie made clear is the difference between being a "writer" and being an "author."

A writer is someone who writes. Period. By virtue of having a blog in which I write occasionally, I am a writer (though not necessarily a very good one). All you have to do to be a writer is write. So if you want to be a writer, stop reading, focus on whatever it is you wish was already written, and make the past tense I just used a reality.

An author is someone who has written something that has been published. It is harder to be an author than it is to be a writer.

Anyone can write. Not everyone has the persistence and dedication to get published.

Some people write because they want a big book deal that's going to get them a lot of money. Julie Powell's memoir became a bestseller, and that's awesome. That doesn't happen with every book, though. It doesn't even happen to many books. The huge bestseller is a rarity, like being struck twice by lightning. Therefore, wanting to become famous and rich is not a reason to become a writer and strive to get published.

Yes, realistically, it's something most of us would enjoy, but it's not the reason to write.

In sum, while we would all like to receive positive feedback and feel like creative genius, the only reason to become a writer is because you enjoy creating and/or relating stories.


Possum said...

"(There were also annoying words to the effect that a movie had been made from her book. I guess it was supposed to be cute, but it actually just pissed me off.)"

That literally just made me burst out laughing.

I like your blogs. You're a good writer in my eyes.

Shelly Quade said...

Hello, Possum, thank you for commenting!

I'm glad that I made you laugh, and that you like my blogs.

I also really like your userpic. It's very fun and interesting.

Possum said...

Shelly Quade! I thought I should tell you who I am: I am Possum (yes, first name, Awesome), but at the same time, I am Julia (not from Julie and Julia). From the Maureen Johnson ning?

Yeah. So I'm a little biased about my opinion on the stuff you write. As I've "known" you since April. Go.. BEDA?