Friday, October 10, 2014

I Am Writer

By Sarah Reichert

How long has it taken you to say the words?  In public, to someone else, when the question "What do you do?" is asked?    

Along with stunning performances of Pat Benatar songs in the mirror, I’ve said them to myself.  But there’s always a caveat attached.  “I’ll be a writer when…” 

When I sell over 1,000 copies.  When I publish three articles.  When I reach 100 shares on a post.  When that book is made into a major motion picture!  When…when…when…

I’ve never told myself that when I've made 2,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or kissed fifty fevered foreheads, that then I’d be a mother.  That would be ridiculous!  Yet, we, as writers and other artists, often base our worth on the monetary or prestige-garnering result of our work.

It isn’t fair.  It’s self-limiting.  It belittles everything you accomplish when you sit down and put pen to paper.  I know there are probably hundreds of you out there, who’s work remains in notebooks and word docs, like little treasure troves, waiting for the perfect moment.  Waiting for your name to establish itself, your platform to be firmly below your feet.  You’re waiting to be a writer until the world says so first.

Poppycock, to that I say!  (Heck yes, I just used the word ‘poppycock’)  Your worth and title as a writer doesn’t come from words others see, or the words that have been whittled away with revision and harsh editing.  Your passion isn’t justified by the public’s knowledge of it.  It’s justified by being.  You write.  You are a writer.  Published or unpublished, struggling on a first draft or shooting off into the world for the 100th time, you are a writer.  Own your craft.  Buy the t-shirt.

We should stand in front others and practice those words.  We should squelch our self-doubt and the worry that our content isn’t smart enough, important enough, or big enough to make a difference in the world.  Human thought, put into words, is a stone thrown into a pond.  It will make ripples.  It will affect.  Your writing, whether it’s a best seller or a file box in the closet, matters.  Your affirmation of what you do is warranted.

So write on.  Don’t stop or pause, and don’t fear that it means too little.  Every word counts.  You’ll be surprised by how good it feels when those four little words spring from your lips.  More surprised perhaps by the encouraging responses you will receive. 

So...What is it that you do? (this is the part where you say "I am a Writer!")
 What's your favorite part about being a writer? 


Julia Lynne said...

I wrote a similar post on my own blog a while back. We are writers. Can't say it enough.

Dean K Miller said...

The first time you say it without feeling sheepish, mumbling into your chest, but really out loud with confidence and eye contact . . . that is when we know. Funny though, how many others know and acknowledge that before we do.

And when we do reach that point, we start to find out how many others "think" about this, "want" to be writer, but never do. And so we continue to speak for those who choose not to.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've finally reached the point where I babble to everyone, even the nurses coming at me with needles, that I'm a writer. But then, look how old I am. It took a long time. :D

Sarah Sullivan said...

Being a mother is a great analogy! Good post!

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