When Renard Moreau wrote about the six things that baffled him, I had to respond – and I did. Yet there is more I’d like to say on the topic of, “Where are the bloggers from Trinidad and Tobago?”.
There was a time when I was considered to be a blogger from Trinidad and Tobago. Geographically, right now, I would have to agree to the fact that I’m blogging from Trinidad and Tobago. And I’d also have to agree that I’ve been writing a few posts lately that are about Trinidad and Tobago, because I happen to be here and I happen to notice things.
GlobalVoices once thought I was a blogger from Trinidad and Tobago, but then they realized I lived in South Trinidad and that I didn’t write incessantly about Trinidad and Tobago.
I lost clique status, quietly, and my feelings were not hurt. That’s just not what I write. And I also don’t write about places where unicorns dance around rainbows with leprechauns, for that matter, and much of what is written about Trinidad and Tobago seems to be that. Just like everywhere else I’ve lived or experienced. That’s just not what I see.
I believe writers are witnesses of a sort. What we witness defines what we write, be it science fiction, be it fiction, or be it obituaries.
“I see dead people”, said the obituary writer.
There are more places to list than a single nation, and to define me by one nation is a little insulting.
The truth is that there are two things that legitimize a writer: Actually writing and not being horrible at it, and being read. My dues in that department are so old that the receipts add up to broken links.
But back to these borders, these boundaries that people want to neatly place other people in when their sock drawer is likely in need of more attention instead. I write. Others write. And when people write, certainly they color their writing with what has made them… them. Yet, unless they marched around under a specific nation’s flag all the time, it’s hard for me to imagine a writer to be from anywhere.
What writers write, though – that’s something completely different. If you write solely about Trinidad and Tobago, I’d say you’re a Trinidad and Tobago writer (small market). If you write solely about the United States, I’d say you’re an American writer (big market). If you write solely about Jamaica, someone’s going to annoy you with a poorly done Jamaican accent and tell you they love Bob Marley.
It’s the way of it.
So, while there are boundaries in this world, writers that I read are not limited by those boundaries.
Stories practically write themselves everywhere. Recently in South Oropouche, a man was dismayed to walk into his own wake – and I know the fellow. The sex toy ban has everyone murmuring with friends, laughing and joking, but the ineptitude related to that government and media conversation is something out of a Pink Panther graphic novel.
But that’s not what defines me as a writer. That I am a writer has taken over a decade for me to admit, even after having published through O’Reilly publishing, writing numerous articles, and so on. But I’m a writer.
And that’s enough, really. I’m not out there flying a flag for a nation. I’m writing what’s on my mind. Nobody’s paying me at this time – feel free to send me money – but don’t expect me to change what I’m writing.
It’s my thing. It’s what I do. And I’d like to think that writers themselves are larger than the borders they live within.
5 thoughts on “Writers Without Borders.”
🙂 I have to admit that was nicely stated.
Now, even though you are not being paid to write, there is the option of monetising your wonderful blog.
And, you have done a fabulous job at representing The Republic Of Trinidad and Tobago (I have been checking out your blog for quite a very long time).
It is just that most bloggers from The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago do not take their blogs seriously. They might publish an article today and you might not see any blog posts from them probably in the next five months.
Also, how many young people in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are actually interested in blogging.
There are a lot of young people who do not know what a blog is.
The biggest irony is that they are familiar with Facebook and Instagram.
They are more concerned about what is happening on social media networks.
And, you were correct when you said, “Writers themselves are larger than the borders they live within.”
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Well, I’m not sure I was representing Trinidad and Tobago at any time. I think that would be unfair for everyone involved. 🙂
I think it’s more about mentioning and writing about it. And yes, I’ve done that over the decades, but I tend to be thinking of bigger things when something just *happens*. 🙂
As far as young bloggers… I’m sure that they’ll show up. And if they are few, maybe that’s better. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
I think a level of maturity is necessary too. I aspire to that. 🙂
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Social media has really put people into a kind of fuzzy arbitrary kind of mindset. It happens often because they have a fear of missing out but everyone has to be physically somewhere for some amount of time. Context is still important. Time, space, physics, entropy.