My husband whispers to me as we lay tight, encircled together, eyes drifting beyond the ceiling, “I am pleased with you. You are a real writer.”
I settle into a soft smile. There was a time my soul asked the same question each time I picked up a pencil or came to the keyboard. Am I really a writer? Am I really pulling this thing off? Can people tell I have no idea what I’m doing?
I’m sitting in Starbucks as I write this hoping no one looks over my shoulder and asks, “Hey, what are you writing?” I’ll have to answer. What do I say? “Oh, nothing.”
Obviously, it’s something. Words fill my screen. But if I answer, “Oh, yes. I’m writing a book.” (This is where I tell you Find Your Voice has been sitting as a finished ebook on my hard drive for 2 years. True story.) I know the conversation will continue, “Oh, neat. What are you writing about?”
“Umm, how to find your voice as a writer.”
Who gave me the authority to write this book? My list of works consist of a row of notebooks lining the bottom shelf in my bedroom. A few folders of unfinished screenplays, a notebook of half-pressed stories, and a pile of children’s stories marked REJECTED.
I’ve been hashing out words all my life. Ever since I could pick up a pencil and match words in a sentence I’ve wanted to claim this elusive title of writer.
I love it. It’s a beautiful, passionate craft. But rarely do I feel qualified to call myself Writer.
Slowly, ever so slowly, like a turtle crawling toward the finish line, I am beginning to own that I am a writer. I practice the discipline.
Words flow in and out of my head, telling stories as I wash dishes and run errands. I’m a daydream believer. A sojourner marking her spot in this world through words.
But I doubt so often, do you? I’m not sure I’ve met a writer who hasn’t struggled with the question, Am I really a writer?
But you are…can’t you see? You are a real writer.
That’s the dilemma with us scribblers and aspiring wordsmiths. We question this profession we find ourselves in—paid or unpaid, but we march regularly to words.
We want to be a writer so we bad we can taste it. We do taste it with every stroke across a page and completion of emotions, but we hesitate. We stop short of calling ourselves writer.
We practice the craft. We publish words. But to hold the title strong in our hands and call it “mine” feels ingenuous. We’re not published. Bookstores don’t have our name in their catalog. We’re not “official.”
But, why cross ourselves off the list? Why say, “Oh, that’s not me,” when that is the very thing we so very badly want to say?
You—right there, reading this, You are a writer.
Own it. Claim it. Believe it.
Today call yourself a writer. Make a sign. Take a picture of yourself holding it and put it in your workspace. Make yourself a business card. Change your online profiles. Call yourself a writer. And do it today.
But let’s not stop there–
Call your self writer and don’t shrink back! (It’s hard. I know. But you can do it.)