I consider myself a writer. It’s what I love to do. It’s what I am good at. I have been known to be sitting in a bar, doctor’s office, or in my car at a stoplight and have to break out the pad of paper because an idea just struck. I’ve even been known to text poems to myself because I didn’t have a pad of paper to write it down. If you consider yourself a writer also then you know exactly what I mean. You never know when “THE BEST IDEA” will come to you. When it does, though, everything else comes to a grinding halt until you can get the words out of your head.
I follow a several writing blogs, “like” a couple of different writing-related Facebook pages, and they all say, “make sure you write everyday. Write, write, write every single day!!!!” As a writer you are supposed to write, then write some more, write when you want to, and even write when you don’t want to, write when you have lots to say, and write when you have absolutely nothing to say. I understand why you want to always be writing everyday . . . you have to keep that muscle worked out to stave off atrophy. For some people to lose the ability to write would be to lose their most prominent voice. Some people, myself included, just don’t know how to speak any other way than through their ink pen (which is ironic if you remember that I am a radio d.j.).
But what about those days when you just really have absolutely nothing to write about? Nothing inspired you. Nothing stood out to spark your creativity. You didn’t see anything that made you think, “that would make a great poem or short story.”
We’ve all, at some point or another, suffered from that evil demon known as writers block. Any writer who says they have never had writers block is a liar. Do not believe them. I firmly believe that one can not call themselves a writer until they have fallen into the jaws of writers block and climbed back out. The longest it lasted for me was 6 1/2 years. I didn’t write a single poem, short story . . . nothing.
I don’t know if I just had nothing to say, or if I lost faith in my ability to get the words out. I do know that I considered throwing out all of my notebooks, because they were just a taunting reminder of that part of me that had gone dormant. Then one day the machine turned back on and in the 2 1/2 years since then I have written more than I ever did before the writer’s block.
I don’t write everyday. I don’t always have something to say. For all the times that inspiration has hit me like a ton of bricks there have been more days where the inspirational well is dry. Yet I still consider myself a writer.
It’s been on my mind a lot lately that maybe I can’t call myself a writer because I don’t write everyday. I don’t have a special area set aside just for writing. I don’t devote hours of each and every day to my craft. I don’t write to entertain or inform others, but instead I do it to empty myself of things that fill me up . . . joy, sadness, heartbreak, love, uncertainty . . .
Do you consider yourself a writer?
Why do you write?
I have an overflowing 3-ring purple binder at home that is full of all the poems and short stories that I have written since I was 14 years old. It is the physical version of my heart and soul, and isn’t that what writing is about? When you write aren’t you supposed to bear your heart and soul to the reader? After all, how can the reader truly know how you want them to feel if you hold yourself back when writing that poem, short story, novel, or even that blog post.
I may not follow the “rules” when it comes to writing. I don’t write everyday. I don’t write, then write some more, then keep writing more after that. I write until my overflowing cup is empty, and then that piece finds its way into my purple 3-ring binder.
I write. I write when I am inspired. I write when my cup runneth over. I pour myself out through my ink pen or computer keyboard. I sit down and leave a part of myself on display on the paper in front of me. I give myself to the reader to be judged. Isn’t that what writing is all about?
So I ask again, are you a writer?