Am I a “Writer?” or just “Someone Who Writes?”
This is the question that’s been haunting me the last few days, if not weeks, as I find myself completely uninspired to write anything. I have written, but mostly out of a sense of duty, rather than of an urge to “get it out” of my system. Which begs the question; Am I a ‘writer?’ or just ‘someone who writes’ every now and then?
I have this romantic notion about writer’s having to pour their soul out onto the page to get all of it out of their system. As if all the writing and the words are already there, inside them, they just need to type it out – but I’m probably wrong in that perception. Writing is just damned hard work. I have numerous books in the oven, so to speak, but not a single complete novel. I have several finished short stories, and an article that was almost published (before the magazine went belly up), but that’s it. My Writing Cred in full - in all its’ measly unpublished glory. It’s kind of sad when you look at it from that perspective. And daunting, when I look at all that still lies ahead of me on my journey to be published.
I had a long talk with my sister-in-law who is a fellow writer (of screenplays, not of novels), about this today; and about my creeping desire to just give it all up. Of course I got the encouraging cheerleader speech that one would expect: “You’re a great writer! Don’t’ quit!” etc., etc., (insert cliché motivational speech here) ad nauseum. While it did help some, I don’t think it’s necessarily a lack of confidence in my writing that is my problem. When I do write, I think it’s pretty darned good – it’s getting to writing – that’s my obstacle.
It’s not necessarily lack of motivation though, either. I think a lot of it is purpose driven. Almost a “who cares?” type of mentality. I’m not writing to be the next James Patterson (God forbid), or the next Stephen King (although that would be great), it’s not about fame or fortune at all. Well, okay, a big paycheck would be nice, but it’s not my primary reason for wanting to write. I write because I like to think I have something to say, and a unique, or at least entertaining, way of saying it, that maybe someone else out there could relate to. Or even better, be taken away for a minute from their hard lives into another world or drama that I’ve created for them. I think that’s my ultimate goal.
The whole problem is kind of like this blog. Nobody reads it. Nobody’s following it. No one is entertained, or even commiserating with me here. So who cares what I write in it? So am I a blogger? Or just someone who blogs too?
I think the latter.
Original Publication Date: 3/1/10