Who do I think I am? How can I possibly have the nerve to say I’m a writer? Well, here I am writing, so there’s that. I wrote an entire book that I love, with characters who feel like living, breathing parts of me, so there’s that too. I’ve started writing a second book and have ideas for a short story series and maybe even a poem or two, so there is all that.
Does it matter that I’m not published (yet!)? Does it matter that it’s a new venture, that I haven’t been doing it long? Does it matter that I haven’t made any money at it, that I might never make any money at it, that I make money doing something else?
All of that did matter to me up until right now. As I’m writing this blog, all of a sudden none of that matters to me. Don’t get me wrong—I’m still terrified to call myself a writer. I still worry that people will judge me for being full of myself, thinking I’m all that. I worry that people will read what I write and laugh behind my back because it’s not good. Or they will read what I write and know more about me than I intended them to know. That’s pretty terrifying, too.
Yet my truth in this moment is that I am writer. I feel like a writer. I listen to other writers talk about their process and I get it, I have felt what they feel and gone through what they go through. I’ve experienced dreaming up characters who feel real, even though I know they’re not. Creativity has descended upon me in a way that almost doesn’t feel like me, like the idea was a thing of its own that has found a place to rest in my head and will stay there as long as I pay attention to it and write it down. I make playlists to listen to the sound of what I’m writing. I get obsessed and energized and frustrated and self-conscious. I want to stop the world from happening around me so that I can just write, just be with these characters and make their story happen. That feels like being a writer to me.
I hope I get published. I hope you all read my books and love my characters and are moved by my stories. I hope I make money at it. I hope Reese Witherspoon makes a FIVE DAYS movie (producing—she’s not right for the starring role!). But even if none of that happens, I am a writer. I am other things, too—a mother, wife, therapist, friend, daughter—but now I am a writer as well.