I Am A Writer
Recently, I wrote an article about fighting negative stereotypes. I wrote about how labels don’t make up a person’s entire existence. And it’s true. For it takes many stereotypes, many labels to be all rolled up like a giant burrito to make a person who they are. But what about the good labels? What about the labels that have always been apart of you? The ones where you let others made you to believe you weren’t good enough to be labeled as.
One night a few days ago, I was riding the bus home with a coworker we’ll call… Coughdrop. On any given night, I will sometimes catch the bus with at least one of several coworkers but I always particularly enjoy Coughdrop’s company because of their laid back attitude. Because most of the time, I can convey the same message of warmth in a wordless hello, a nod and a smile, as I would to one of my more physically affectionate coworkers. So it wasn’t surprising to me, that while Coughdrop and I were standing at the bus stop, I randomly confessed a secret that I had only told one other person in my entire life. I am a writer.
Yes, I blog. And people I know I blog. People know I like to write and they know because I told them. Those aren’t secrets. But I have only said the words, I am a writer, to two people. Instead of telling people, “Oh, I’m a writer.” I say, “Oh, I just like to write.” Because the truth is, beyond bloging… I have ideas for novels and short stories. They’re ones I’ve been working on for many years and very few people know about. And I don’t tell anyone because not only don’t I think they’re really all that good enough or great but because I don’t have a whole lot actually written. Not enough to really share with anyone. One of my story ideas is a romance murder mystery while another one is a spin on a classic Christmas Tale. I have a slightly sci-fi/fantasy spin on Beauty & the Beast and a complicated Greek Mythology twist brought into modern times and Zeus muse daughters. None of which are Pulitzer prize worthy so I figure… why brag about them? So, I never thought of myself as a… writer. Even now, the label sounds foreign and strange to me. To be a writer, I always thought you had to have that passion, that drive, and dedication real writers had to have!
The label behind what a writer should be however, has different meanings. To me, writers are intellectuals or classics like Charles Dickens’, Jane Austin or Proust. To me writers of today are dedicated bloggers who write everyday just because they have something to say. Writers are the people who spend hours in coffee shops writing. You have Hollywood writers, journalists, editors, bloggers, and everyday people who struggle to get their work published. Because that’s what writers do… all the time. Writers are what they do and who they are because it’s their job or their dream. It was in turn, a stereotype I had placed on others.
So writing was just a label I never associated with myself. Because while I enjoy writing, because I don’t have that same dedication I let myself believe that I wasn’t a writer. But as I sat on that bus, and let the confession and my someday story ideas slip from my mouth into Coughdrop’s ears, I realized… I am a writer! While I might not have the same drive, or the right dedication that more serious writer’s may have, I do enjoy writing! I do have a semi-passion for it. My mind is constantly coming up with ideas to blog about. It’s just the ideas I scribble down from my notebook have a hard time making it passed the paper and into some sort of coherent thought. I can’t tell you why exactly I have such trouble, because I’m not exactly sure myself.
All I know is that, the more I write, the easier writing becomes and the more I enjoy it. I still may have trouble after a few days piecing my thoughts together, but the overall writing becomes easier. But the more I write, the less sleep I get. And I worry if I miss a day about how many more entries I have to make up. You could say I place too high of expectations upon myself of having to write every day. But when it comes down to it, I am a writer. And it’s a label I’m comfortable with. While writing may never be anything more than a hobby, I’m beginning to feel like labels can be a good thing. I’m beginning to realize that as long you love what you do and at some level have that passion (even if it doesn’t manifest into a profession) that it’s okay to let a label be a part of who you are. I’m probably not going to yell it up across the rooftop’s to people or brag about it in conversation. But for the first time, if the topic of writing comes up, I am no longer going to shyly say “Oh, I just like to write.” Because I am a writer!