In my last post there was a stark elephant
in the room on the page. I called myself… a writer. I must have deleted and retyped those words a half-dozen times. As usual, whenever I toy with this idea, a good dose of self-doubt always creeps in; and I see signs of insecurity looming on the horizon. My inner negative-Nancy goes into overdrive and she’s not particularly kind: who do you think you are, what makes you think you’re a writer? *insert pitiful laughter*
So, I did what one naturally does, I googled the definition of a writer.
I may not be a published author, nor did I go to school for professional writing but I do know this: the pure urge to write is part of my daily functioning. I have incessant thoughts swirling around my mind fighting to be pieced together and solved like a jigsaw puzzle. That conviction, that I must express myself in order to be understood (perhaps in an effort to connect with another soul; to not feel so alone), is forever constant. Those words, fast and furious, travel from the confines of my mind and jump out onto the
page screen, and then suddenly I’m creating a well-timed, choreographed dance with words. And sure, I may not always follow every grammar rule in the book- I am probably a bit trigger happy with those commas, I can never find an end to run-ons, and *tsk* forget about starting sentences with conjunctions! But look, few people have ever devoured a 19th century book on proper English grammar in one sitting and said, “This is the most compelling piece of writing I’ve ever read!” It is my opinion that being an artist is more than just precisely tracing lines on a page; just as being a writer is more than stringing grammatically-correct words together. Writing is a form of art- a way to capture emotions, expand ideas, break boundaries, shed light, self-reflect, challenge norms, and generate explorative imagination.
I have always used writing to express my joys and grievances- from the copious dairies I kept as a young girl into early adulthood, to sending lengthy complaint letters to large corporations that have committed indecent acts against me (ha). And of course, if you’ve personally known me for over a decade you may have received one or many of my signature, novel-length angry emails (gosh, if you got one of those that meant I really cared about you)!
A friend of mine once asked, “are you getting paid to do this blog thing or what?” Her question (I believe from a place of genuine curiosity) threw me off guard because to me it was obvious why. “No… I just like writing and it’s a great pastime.” For some reason I felt the need to defend myself but also to stifle my passion because why would I be dedicated to doing something for free when I am not even a real writer? But as soon as I uttered those words I quickly regretted it. The truth is, some days there is nothing more I’d rather do than to take a droplet of an idea and form it into a sea of harmonized thoughts.
This has been a year of firsts for a lot of things. Let this year (or what’s left of it) be the year I am proud to stand behind what I truly believe in- myself. Am I ever going to declare myself a writer after an introduction to someone I’ve never met? No- because I’m still not that brave but also that’s kind of weird.
It takes tremendous courage to bare your soul to someone- much less the entire ether. Doing so leaves you vulnerable to judgment and sometimes harsh criticism. But we all live one life, if you’re not doing something that fuels your purpose then what are you doing? If you’re reading this and you’ve got that stifled passion you’re afraid to share with the world then I say take that leap of faith- heck, scream it from the rooftops!
Happy Holidays. I’m a writer! Merry Christmas. I am a writer!! Happy New Year. You get the point.
Believe in yourself. Thanks for reading.