Am I a writer?
This question has haunted me throughout my college years and after. In my teen years when I was bursting with adolescent arrogance the answer would probably have been a resounding “yes”. In my junior college days I still had some of that pride–for any class outside of English I could write a paper at the last moment and it would be brilliant. I wrote poetry to deal with some intense emotions with little thought of punctuation and rhythm with the only concern being rhyme. I cringe now when I look at those poems, but surprisingly some of them weren’t bad–confidence goes a long way.
Now here I sit, I have a Bachelor’s degree in writing and I have less confidence than I have ever had before. For so long during my later years in a 4 year college I was made or broken by grades. The question I started out with stuck to me like glue–if I get a C on a paper does that mean I can’t write at all? I struggled with volume, I struggled with confidence, I struggled with my lack of ability to read through a book, and I struggled with comparing myself to my peers who seemed to have a more equal relationship with our teachers. I loved learning the craft but I felt that I could never do it justice. I graduated with a very low GPA and it took a year for me to even think about writing again.
So… Am I a writer?
2014 began as a year of promise and I could leave 2013 and all it’s struggles behind. In 2013 I started a little journal where I put my thoughts about a single story that has been percolating in my mind for some time. With the start of the new year I began my story on a Word document. It felt good to write again. And then I hit a snag, a philosophical snag. What am I really saying in this story? Do I really believe it? Time to let it percolate for while again. I’m slow and, in my mind, I don’t fit the image of “a writer”. I see a writer as someone who eats and breathes their craft while everything else is sacrificed. I have other dreams–a farm to live on, a garden to grow, and a family of my own (God willing). I used to dream of having a best seller but now my dream looks different. Through it all, though, I still go back to craft of writing so the answer to the question is… Yes, I’m a writer. In my own quiet way I go back to the craft and it may be when I’m 80 that I have my best seller (if at all), but that’s okay as long as I continue to write because it is a part of who I am.
I am a writer.