Derek Tillotson

Parasite

My relationship with writing is strictly parasitic. The art, craft, industry, community, and act of writing has gained next-to-nothing from my presence. In fairness to myself, this is likely true of 99.9% of writers--almost none reach any point of cultural relevance. Only slightly more carve out a niche following. And the rare folks who reach the summit didn't begin with the goal to become one of the most prolific writers in the world.

So as far as writing is concerned, I'm nothing but a parasite. I take so much joy from reading other peoples' writings. I get many meditative benefits from journaling and blogging. I scratch my creative itches by dabbling in fiction writing. The benefits I reap are endless.

What do I--Derek Tillotson--give back to writing? Little, it seems. I put more work out there, among the billions and billions of writings that already exist. If I stopped, the behemoth that is the god of writing would likely not notice.

But I'd notice.

The beauty of writing--of all art, I suppose--is that you're allowed to be parasitic. The millions and billions of people who participate in an artform are necessary so that the few who rise above the rest are able to do so. Writing doesn't demand anything from me. It doesn't have an arbitrary set of rules I need to follow. All writing does is say to me, "If you get something from this, keep doing it. Just don't be an asshole." And I'm grateful for that.

Written April 17, 2020


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