I am a writer.
Why is that so hard? Why do we feel like we need to be published by a Big Publisher or have a Pulitzer Prize under our belts or 10,000 blog subscribers to feel like we are “real” writers?
I am a writer because I write.
I don’t always write well, I leave drafts unfinished sometimes and other times I barely manage to get ten words onto the “paper” (which is almost never actually paper anymore). I have so many ideas swirling around in my head like a swarm of birds, but when I try to catch them, they slip away leaving feathery remnants drifting through the air.
Sometimes the words come pouring out.
It’s like a flood – a sudden tumultuous but somehow manageable stream of ideas all flowing together into a beautiful stream of logic and language. And if I happen to be in a place where I can sit and let my fingers capture the flow, it ends up being 1000 words or more all in a rush with no editing required.
And then it dries up.
Writing is not just for novels or articles.
Most of the volume of my writing is for work. I might spend an hour crafting a single email to get across the point with a bit of nuance; to make understanding flow just from words. There is power in a beautifully written sentence that manages to capture details with subtle efficiency.
Because I am a writer, I appreciate a clever turn of phrase or the artistry of a word choice.
Lovely writing comes through most often in the quiet variation of sentence structure and the delicate balance of not enough and too much. I usually strip out at least half of what I’ve written after the draft is done, and the result is twice as good. If you can’t tie one good knot, a long line of bad ones won’t help.
I love the bravery of other writers.
Good or bad, with occasionally cringe-worthy lapses of “there” instead of “their”, I still feel a compelling closeness to the courage that it takes to put out anything at all. Even a single line written in public is an invitation to harsh criticism, judgment and complaint. We all want to fly up into the stratosphere of artful prose, but instead sometimes we flounder in the shallows. But every now and then we lift off, sometimes just for a moment, and we float in the lightness of the perfect idea, framed gently by an adjective, bolstered up by a creative preposition.
I am a writer because if I could not write, I would be less than me.
And if you think you might be a writer too, consider this your permission to say it out loud.