Thursday, February 24, 2011

What are you?

I am a writer. I need to learn to own the word. Always before today I would say, "I like to write." or "I write things."  But no more. I am a writer.

Somehow in my mind I reduced the word to a mere profession. As if I could only legitimately call myself a writer if someone paid me to do it. Some profit from my craft. But writing for me isn't about making money. It is a selfish endeavor to express myself, work out my feelings, wonder, create, rail against, speak, sing, be. I am a writer.

I don't just write when my hands are on a keyboard or a pen. I write all day long as I see and experience and think. There is this inner voice trying to find the best way to describe a room, to sum up a situation, to find the meaning in pointless, horrible, wonderful things. I am a writer.

I see popular media representing "writers" as people that have been working on the first page of a manuscript for a dozen years. They call themselves writers and people give them the sad, knowing look. Sure, you're a writer. But creating a manuscript for someone to judge and deem worthy or not is not my goal. I don't care if anything I write ever gets published. Okay. That is a lie. It would feel really great for something like that to happen. But I'm not trying for that. When I write stories or poems or blog entries or letters to my friends it is because I find pleasure in the act.

To me it amounts to singing. I sing all day long. When I'm putting on make-up. When I'm waiting on customers. When I'm driving down the road and the people in the passing cars give me looks. Karaoke. The shower. While cooking.While listening to other people talk. It feels great when someone tells me I sing well. When people clap at karaoke and pat me on the back. But that isn't why I sing. It feels nice to sing. So I do it.

I do many thing for the reward inherent in just doing them. I smile. I dance. I cook things. I hang out with my friends. I read books and watch movies. I go for walks. I write. I am a writer.

This whole post was an exercise to convince myself that I am allowed to own the word. Somehow, I still don't believe me.

No comments: