I am a writer
Last night I wrote a piece detailing, perhaps somewhat too ironically, how I was a shitty writer. In fact, after the onslaught of messages, I had to edit the piece to put scare-quotes around the word “writer”, so that the irony would be readily apparent. Tonight, I’ve seen numerous pieces of writers declaiming writerhood, and proclaiming instead that they are not writers, and so I must throw in my two cents once again. I’m American, we have pennies, and therefore the ability to do that.
If you type or write words of any creative ilk on screen or page or otherwise — you’re a writer. If you conspire to contort these mere 26 letters we have into words and those words into sentences or phrases or verse — you’re a writer. Own it. Be proud of it. If I saw your words tonight, that means I follow your blog. If I follow your blog, even if I’ve never spoken to you, it means I love and respect your work, and I want to read it on a regular basis. Fucking own it. This “I’m not a writer”, “I’m not a poet”, whatever bullshit is tiresome. Yes, if you’ve ever once put pen to page, you’re a writer. If you’ve ever lost focus on the beauty of an errant leaf floating through the air, you’re a poet. Own it.
Let your first step towards some measure of pride be to recognize that you’re proud of what you do. I am. It doesn’t mean you have to scream it on street corners. I have a self-published book (yeah, I just plugged that shit, wouldn’t you?). None of my family knows about it. Most of my friends don’t know about it. Not because I’m not proud of it — because I don’t want their criticism. I know what it’ll be. I don’t want them to knock me down, because they don’t truly know me and probably wouldn’t accept and love my writing.
Sound familiar? None of that means you’re not a writer. Every single person I follow is a writer (with the exception of those few who aren’t, and they know who they are). So please, your words are beautiful, but with all due respect, spend your creative energy on something other than descriptions of how you’re not a writer. It’s clear you are. Accept it. Use your pretty words for something else.
I am a writer. I write words on paper and screen — over 3,000 of them a day. This is what I do. This is what I live, speak, eat, and breathe. I don’t think I’d exist without this. I’m proud to call myself a writer. And you should be too.
jayarrarr, YOU ROCK!!!! Thank you for this Pep Talk. I’ve been practicing saying aloud, “I am a Writer” for a year now. The poetry surprised me, but once I started writing it, it felt so right, that I knew it had been there, waiting, for a long time. Waiting for me to give in to the lure of words on a page, flowing freely from my heart, more so than my head. Yes, I am a Writer. I am learning to say it out loud with a growing confidence, as I can say on paper the things I cannot say as freely with the spoken word. I love writing. ‘Tis true. ~ Janean, a.k.a. Turquoise Tangles
Defenestrations: I am a writer