What is a “real writer”?
Am I one of those who could be called a “real writer”?
I still labor under the burden that real writers are published and published well. And that slippery term, “published well” constantly moves away from me, a goal that is ephemeral, a tiny wisp of a cloud. I never feel like a real writer.
Why is that? I have ten books out, I’ve written over 1000 blog posts for Fiction Notes, have drafts of many novels and picture books that will probably never see the light of day. And yet. . .
I have quirks, things I like to write about, ways I like to write. I just want to meet the editor who has the same quirks as myself. Where are you, Editor-Who-Thinks-Like-Me? Please introduce yourself.
It is this constant second-guessing of my own aesthetics, my ideas about what makes a great story, that is so discouraging.
I often say, “This is a deadly business.” Deadly to our egos, deadly to our hopes.
When I am rejected, it is like someone says to me, “Your writing just doesn’t have enough heart.”
OR, worse, “YOU don’t have a big enough heart, Miss Grinch. Grow that heart and your story will grow enough heart and then I will publish it.”
And if there’s something wrong with my heart, it is hopeless. We don’t know how Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day, there’s no scientific explanation. No cure. No fix.
And I wind up feeling like I am not a “real writer.”
We battle feelings like this daily, don’t we?
On saner days, I know I am a person who puts words on paper/screen daily: for the last 46 days, I’ve written at least 750 words daily. I am a writer. A real writer. By definition–a writer is a person who writes–I am a writer.
Today, I can fight this particular demon and roar to the world, “I am a writer!”
Today, rejoice with me.
And tomorrow, when my heart shrinks back to its three sizes too small–please read my humble posts and give me a kind word. Because this is a hard business and we all need encouragement.
YOU are a real writer. Congratulations!
Go. Encourage another real writer today.
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