I am a writer.
It has taken me my whole life to claim this.
I used to think that in order to call myself a writer it meant credentials and a paying job in the field. That its importance and validity came from an external end product. That proof of being a writer was tied to the earning potential garnered from its formal education.
In high school I greatly enjoyed literature, absolutely loved writing, and completely abhorred grammar. To this day the idea of diagramming sentences makes me shudder. I mistakenly interpreted this to mean an English degree was out of the question for me. I also mistakenly believed that I had to have the answers before I began, and I did not know how I would be responsibly financially independent with a writing degree. I did not believe, and I did not trust, that I was a writer. I also felt that since I had these doubts, I must really not be one.
The universe gave me another chance at this, and I am sad to say I again chose otherwise. Fast forward through life, pausing at facing single parenthood with my wonderful sons just having completed Kindergarten and second grade. Responsibility for family financial independence and providing a better life for my children led me once again to higher education. I shocked myself with the absolute clarity of the thought: “Ahhhh..this time I can get a writing degree!” Once more, since I did not know at the beginning how it would support us in the end, practicality (doubt?) ruled and I did not listen to my writing heart.
Today I am successful in my established career and my family is fine. God, do I laugh now that I can see the omnipresent writing parallels and subtexts all the way through! I also see the fear patterns, as well as the pragmatism, courage, and confidence. I rest in the quiet strength that there is no such thing as failing at life. I’ve taken care of what was needed, and the universe is lovingly providing me yet another writing opportunity. This time I say Yes.
My interested and supportive husband asks me what I’m doing in a given moment at the computer. When I was tweaking my formal education, my language was “I’m working.” Now my words are “I’m writing.” I think of it as play, and my happiness makes him smile. I now know that it’s not necessary for me to conceive of writing as a career path, I am able to simply let it evolve. The treasure, for me, is in the creative process.
I write because I have a lot in my head, to say and share. I write because I can somehow help others make a difference. I write because I am supposed to, and I am not sure why. And it’s okay that I don’t know why. Because I am finally listening.
I am a writer. I no longer need parameters and definitions. I am a writer simply because writing makes me whole. I write because it must release. I don’t need to earn it, I simply need to embrace the potential. I am a writer. I claim this.
Now teens and on the cusp of their own leaps from the nest, I tell my sons not to fear. The answers will evolve because you have begun. They just smile tolerantly and lovingly at me, and I take comfort that already they are writing their own stories–in whatever expression they allow.
- On Truth in Storytelling (occupiedandpreoccupied.wordpress.com).com)
- Am I the only one? (imitationwriter.wordpress.com)
- The Keys to Worry Free Writing (thewritersadvice.com)
- Top Ten Tuesday (writingthefire.wordpress.com)
- What Does It Take to be a Writer? (wordninjagirl.com)
- I write; therefore I am a writer. (lifeaswethinkweknowit.wordpress.com)