I am a writer. This is what I learned today.
If you’re thinking, “You’re just figuring this out, Sam? Are you dense?”, I agree.
I am proud of my writing, I love writing, I am constantly dreaming of being a writer, and yet I have trouble saying, “I am a writer.”
This is how a conversation with someone I have just met usually goes:
Them: So, what do you do?
Me: I’m a marketing coordinator for a small company in Maryland. And I waitress part-time.
Them: Oh, cool.. what exactly does a “marketing coordinator” do anyway?
Me: Good question…
My mom or a friend standing near me: She also has a really awesome blog!
Them: Oh, yeah?
Me: Uh, yeah. It’s nothing really. (suddenly bashful)
Mom or friend: She is a fantastic writer. She has international readers. She wants to write a book after she travels the world for a year. That’s why she’s waitressing: to save money for her trip!
Them: Wow, that’s really cool! When do you start your trip? What do you want to write a book about?
This has happened countless times. And each time I regret not being more confident about my blog, my writing, my travel plans. Who wants to hear about being a marketing coordinator anyway? No one even knows what that means. I don’t even know what that means! (I mean, I do. But you get what I’m saying.)
I received it in the mail yesterday and read all 132 pages today.
And now I know: I am a writer.
The sad reality is I’ve been told I’m a writer. A friend of mine, Nick, emailed me last month:
I noticed you have a website. Upon reading a few of your entries, the following quotes by Hemingway sprung to mind:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”
Your posts are so raw. As if you whisked an exposed nerve, the words jolting through the nervous system. I felt how you felt. If there were any uncertainty, let me reassure you – you my friend, are a writer.
I was elated, touched, amazed. I immediately forwarded the email to my mom and dad. “A compliment I received today.”
My dad emailed me back, almost immediately, “You ARE A WRITER!!! I knew that :)”. (Love you, dad)
So it wasn’t that I’d never been told I am writer, I just never believed it.
In the first chapter, Jeff Goins has us claim our title.
It’s a choice, writing is. One that belongs to you and me. We get to choose it (or not) every single day. So whether the world hears your message – whether you leave the impact you were born to make – is entirely up to you.
Scary, isn’t it?
There are, of course, thousands who won’t make this choice. They’ll fail to be who they are and live up to their calling. We will forever miss their words. And this is tragic.
But you? You were born for this. And you are ready to make a different choice. You are ready to be a writer, even if you don’t feel it yet.
Yes, yes, yes!! I am. I am ready.
And then he continues:
It’s about tricking yourself into becoming who you are.
Wait, what? That’s crazy. How am I supposed to trick myself?
He agrees. It is crazy. “But”, he assures us, “I learned it from a true pro.”
Mr. Goins interviewed the author of The War of Art, Steven Pressfield. He asked Mr. Pressfield, “When do you really become a writer? Is it when you get an agent? When you sign your first book contract? When you sell 100,000 copies?
Mr. Pressfield responded, “When you say you are… Screw what everyone else says. You are [a writer] when you say you are.”
And there it is. Being a writer is up to me.
Mr. Goins finishes up the chapter by making us write it: I am a writer.
So, I want all of you to know: I AM A WRITER.
And I also want to know: What are you? What do you choose to be every single day? Are you hiding from your destiny or have you chosen it with all of your heart?
If the latter: GOOD FOR YOU.
If the former: Hey, there’s no time like the present.
What are you? What do you want to be? Tell me in the comments.
I’m participating in a 31 day writing challenge. Read more about it and find other blogs that are writing about topics that interest you here. This is day 25 of 31 Days of Enjoying the Little Things in Life! If you haven’t read any yet, start from the beginning here.