I Write. But Does That Mean I’m a Writer?…
I am a writer.
That was really uncomfortable and weird just now.
I can’t explain why it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because I’ve always held the belief that there’s a certain set of credentials needed in order to claim such a title. Like there’s a rite of passage or something that every aspiring ‘writer-would be‘ has to complete in order to get the official stamp of approval.
(that’s the sound the stamp would make when it’s slapped on the back of my hand or my head if I was one of the lucky chosen ones).
I imagine the Master Blopper would bow to me after he slaps the stamp on the appropriately chosen body part and congratulate me, saying something like “You finally did it! Go forth now, you little mean writing machine, and write! Write as fast and furiously as your little fingers can manage. You may also now finish that book you’re working on so you can get it published…because your first one really sucked, probably because you published it before you had your credentials. And now you may call Ellen and Oprah.”
But the reality is, there is no rite of passage or stamp of approval and sadly, there is no Master Blopper. So, I have to do this all on my own, which also means there’s a tremendous amount of risk involved. Not necessarily life or death Sylvia Plath-risky, God rest her soul.
Anyway, there are a lot of risks. Here’s a few that I can think of off the top of my weary head: weary-headedness, failure, depression, delusion, criticism, judgement, self-loathing, self-doubt, vulnerability, sleep-deprivation, excessive smoking, brain-racking (it’s real and it hurts after a while), solitude which leads to loneliness which leads to depression which leads to delusion…it’s a writer’s vicious cycle.
But I write despite these risks. It was only a year or so ago that I acquired the bug and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to shake it off. Aside from no Master Blopper apparently there’s no cure for the writer’s bug either. So, I’m stuck right now.
Stuck somewhere in the middle between my old, normal life when I didn’t write and everything was calm and peaceful; did I mention normal? Yeah, stuck between that and my dream of the distant future; the one in which I’m a New York Times bestselling author and all my books are on the New York Times Bestseller list, and I’m rich and live a peaceful life and I’m normal again and Oprah’s my best friend.
Would you like to know what it’s like in the middle? It’s like my brain’s been sucked up by a vacuum cleaner and it’s on ALL THE TIME, causing all the crap to swirl around as it sucks all my energy, even energy I don’t have, it sucks all of that away too. And it’s the Dirt Devil kind that you can see through, so I get to watch all the crap swirling around inside.
I’ve been awake since 4am this morning and I’m exhausted, but I’ll probably be awake again tomorrow at 4am too…to do this all over again. But there’s no stopping me. I’m going to keep doing it until I finish my book. And finally meet Oprah, of course.
And then surprisingly after all that, I’ll probably start writing another one…you want to know why?
Because I’m a writer.