*For the next 20 days, I am challenging myself to write 20 posts on self-reflection, etc. Times are stressful and it’s easy to lose sight of ourselves and what/who we want to be and achieve. Brave enough to participate? Just follow along and send me your posts via the comments, a pingback, Twitter or Facebook. 🙂
The further I get in pursing a career in writing, the more I notice that a lot of people call themselves writers, especially in my age group. It makes me wonder if they really are good writers or they’re just fooling around and using that term to impress others. It also makes me wonder if I sound like them whenever people ask me what I do. Phony is in and I refuse to be grouped in with the masses.
As most of you know, I hate being asked what I do. Wouldn’t it be better when upon meeting someone, we asked them what kind of person they are? But that would be awkward. I may be a writer (with a lack of job prospects) but it goes deeper than that.
We see so many twenty-somethings in the media nowadays roaming around the streets of New York proclaiming to be writers. Some of them haven’t even written a thing. But what is a writer to begin with? There are so many definitions to being a writer these days that I’m starting to lose count. Just because you have great writing skills, doesn’t particularly mean that you are a writer. It takes more than just a memorized format to be a writer. Personally, I think if you’ve gone through any type of turmoil in your life with the ability to bleed it all out on a page, without a single care in the world what others are going to think about it, you are a writer. If something moves you to pieces and you simply cannot, will not, accept just telling one person about it, you are a writer; despite if it’s just a page in a journal. It needs to be written. Every detail needs to be cleansed out of you until it only exists on the page.
Writing is a creative process unlike any other. For me, it’s usually driven by a mood or an experience. I’ll write down an idea, and then sometimes I wind up questioning why I would ever want to write about something like that. Then I’ll usually brood over it for a bit until finally I let it all out and I’m left wondering if everyone hates me again for having the unpopular opinion. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that if you write for other people you will always fail. Nothing will ever be good enough and you’ll be demonizing yourself for absolutely nothing. The number one person you should always write for is yourself. If people like it, that’s always a wonderful plus. Writing is selfish and I try to allow my outlet to be the only selfish part of me, but I’m only human.
Maybe others will read my writing and not appreciate my style. Maybe they’ll just think it’s like everyone else’s. Maybe that’s why I’m unemployed at the moment! Maybe I’m not mediocre enough. All I know is that in my heart, I am a writer. I listen to things and I simply must write about them. I observe, I compare, I try to understand, and then I write. Stop talking about writing. You have to actually do it to be a writer. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing, just do it!
Write, write, write…right?
20 Posts in 20 Days