Say it with me everyone, “I’m a writer!”
That’s a bold statement. How many of us actually know who or what we are? Probably not many, but knowing who your gives you power.
What are the perks of self-knowledge you ask?
- No one can convince you that you are not who you are. You will gain power over yourself and others will lose their power over you. One of the things people do to others that makes me the angriest is telling others, especially kids, that who they are is too difficult to achieve, or they won’t make a good living on it. It kills kids’ dreams all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked what I’m going to do with a philosophy degree because people think there’s no way I’ll get a job with it, or how many derisive looks I’ve gotten from people who I’ve told I write stories. Don’t let these people get to you. I know it’s hard. I struggle with it all the time. We can beat them, but the only way to do it is to know and accept who you are.
- You will gain power over others. No I don’t mean mind control or Jedi mind tricks, as cool as that would be. I mean people are attracted to those who know who they are. They see how successful that person is and they want to know their secret. They want to know themselves too. It’s human instinct to want to know who you are.
- There’s great dental and a free toothbrush. Just kidding.
Knowing who are, and I mean really knowing it, is an extremely difficult task to accomplish. The most difficult part is not convincing the world. The most difficult part is to convince you. Just saying, “I am writer,” while it can’t hurt, isn’t usually enough on its own.
You have to believe it. Let it infuse your being with strength. It’s worth the struggle. It’s scary, but it’s worth it. That’s why I’m embarking on the journey of writing. I can feel that it’s what I want to do. I can’t stop creating. I am a writer.
But what is a writer? Why would anyone want to be a writer? It’s really difficult!
Like I said, writing is a journey. Real writing isn’t really a job, though you can make money from it. Real writing is a way of life. Writers are called to their craft, not the other way around. They can’t help it. Stories just never stop running through their mind, spontaneously birthing themselves and creating more and more characters, plots and settings.
Writing is creation. Pure and simple. Writing is indiscriminant. The writer simply puts words down on the page. Editing comes later. The exact story in the end, comes from revision and editing multiple drafts. While important, they are not writing.
Writing is the power of the writer’s will as he or she works through the very first draft of their novel. Writing is the elation that a person feels when they are on a roll and words are flying from their mind down to their tireless fingers and finally appearing on the screen. Writing is allowing your characters to take control and take command of the story, guiding your hand, telling you what words to type to fit the story, allowing you to take a back seat and watch them go.
As a writer, you hold the power of creation within you. You have the power of the universe itself.
That’s a hefty responsibility, but we, you and I, must use that ability to benefit society. We are the Shakespeares, the Homers, the Rowlings and the Twains. We are the educators of the youth and entertainers of the adult. We are necessary for society to function.
“It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.”- Isaac Asimov
I don’t care what people say, I love to tell stories and I love writing. Sure it’s frustrating sometimes and procrastination sets in, but that’s part of the struggle. In the end, I know what I am.
I am a writer.
This post is my entry for Jeff Goins’ contest celebrating the release of his new eBook You Are a Writer at http://youareawriter.com. I owe Jeff so much because he inspired me to write much more and write better than I had before when I read his Writer’s Manifesto (which you can get by subscribing to his blog). It was so simple, but powerful and it sent a message to me. I was going about writing in the wrong way. I was calling myself an aspiring writer/author rather than just calling myself a writer. I was trying to please my readers by writing specifically what I thought they would enjoy reading. Finally, I wanted to get noticed. None of these were the best ways to write, nor was I in the write mindset to write. I thought it was a total uphill battle. I know better now thanks to Jeff.
He taught me that it’s better to write for myself, and not to worry about other readers, and that I might be surprised at the results. I am trying to write for myself now, and of course I am calling myself a writer now because that is what I am and always have been.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned is that perfection is not a goal, it is an obstacle. Desiring perfection on the first or second try will only lead to failure. Words will never reach the page. The document will remain white forevermore.
The task of the writer is to get words on the page. It doesn’t matter if they make sense, just write. Your work can always be edited later. Just sit down, tell the perfectionist and his buddy fear to leave you alone, and create. If you and I can do that, then magic will happen.
So thanks for everything you taught me, Jeff.