- a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
- a clerk, scribe, or the like.
- a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing: an expert letter writer.
- a person who writes or is able to write: a writer in script.
You see it on paper and it doesn’t seem like such a hard task. “Melissa, if you want to be a writer, you should write.” This was one of my main motivations for this blog. I have been writing. I’ve blogged, role-played, sketched out plots and written out stories. But I have never felt like a writer.
In my mind, in order to be a writer, I needed to finish something. Start as I may, I never do. I’ve puzzled over this over the past few months. My friends seem to be hitting their stride; getting married, having children, becoming successful in their chosen fields. I have a wonderful job with a wonderful company, but when someone asks me what I want to with my life there’s this little voice that cries out, “I want to be writing.”
And yet, I don’t. I have stacks of stories started, but they never take flight. Piles of plots sketched out, lists of characters, maps of distant lands, notes on ancient Sumerian texts, names of gods, magic systems, myths, legends and lore. The bits and pieces of murdered stories litter a few rubber-maid containers stacked in the back of my bedroom closet. So if I want to be a writer, why don’t I write?
Writing, like singing and dancing is such a personal act. You are taking a small part of your soul, something very personal and private and showing others. You can prepare yourself for criticism, tell yourself that you can welcome it and try to stay positive. But you need to be prepared that someone is going to call your baby ugly. You have to take the good with the bad.
A friend of mine asked me this just a few days ago. Can I separate myself from the work that’s been done? Maybe its not that I can’t write, but that I can’t separate the criticism from the blood and the sweat and the tears that went into the creation. If I never finish it, I will never be disappointed.
Everything in my head went into slow motion as I read this. (Because it was in an email, seems like I rarely TALK to anyone at all these days.) What was I so afraid of? Could my fear of rejection be so strong that I hadn’t allowed myself to write freely? Was I so self-conscious of my dreams that I had put them away so I had no way for them to be broken?
I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now. Examining what other things scare me. Digging through the closet of dark secrets to see what other situations I avoid. So I’ve turned a new corner with writing. I’m trying to start with writing and see if it will help me turn this corner for the rest of my life. I’ve been told that good things happen when you follow your dreams. Its time to stop worrying about what people might say or think and just go after the things I want. I’ve been waiting for things to fall into place for way too long now. Its time to go out and lay the groundwork for those things to happen.
Live life intentionally. Do it on purpose.