Am I a Writer?

What is a writer?

Am I a writer?  I’ve written a book and I write a blog and I have a couple of works in progress, but does any of that make me a writer?

What is a writer exactly?  Is it anyone who can pick up a pencil and make markings on a piece of paper that resemble letters and words?  Or is it someone who knows how to string together those letters and words into sentences and paragraphs and pages– into pieces of art.  Or is it someone who not only makes art out of words, but someone who gets paid to make art out of words?

Today, I had a horribly jealous reaction to the idea of a friend of mine beginning to work on a new book.  I thought to myself, how can this person start a new story when I’m so pathetic I can’t complete mine.  Which of course made me wonder, yet again, if Twenty-Five is just a fluke.  I wrote the one story I’ve wanted for myself my whole life.  Maybe I have nothing else in me.

I hate that I doubt myself.  I really do hate it.  But I do.  I doubt myself constantly.  I never believe I am good enough or that anything I do is good enough.  And I don’t even know why I’m like that.  I shouldn’t be like that.  I know I’m smart- I’ve never doubted that, though maybe I should.  Why does anyone doubt themselves?  Fear, I think.  For me, fear of failure and fear of rejection.  It’s a hard life, trying to be a writer, trying to be published.  I just know that I’m going to fail at it, like I’ve failed at so many other things.  And I can’t stand it.  Because I want it so bad.  I want to do something worthwhile, be someone worth while.  That’s what got me started on this whole writing kick in the first place.  I wrote a book, with a main character who is a lot like me, but I made her prettier and I gave her a boyfriend and a career with the potential to go somewhere.  And she got everything she ever wanted.  I still cry reading the ending of my book.  Imagining that a wonderful man could be so in love with a girl so like me.

And now I wonder if this wonderful book about the girl who is like me but isn’t me whose dreams all come true is the extent of my writing abilities.  Do I have any other stories inside me.  Am I really a writer, or was I just desperately seeking to make something out of the life I have but hate?

All of this doubt comes just two days after I find out that a poem I wrote (the poem which inspired the title of this blog, BTW) is going to be published in an online magazine.  That has to mean something, right?  A poem I wrote was selected for this magazine’s next issue, and yet, I still doubt myself.  Maybe because I have no one but an online community to share it with.  I told my mother and her only reaction was “That’s great.  Wait- is that a good thing?”  And nothing else.  No one is excited for me, well no one that I know in real life.  Is that where doubt comes from- lack of validation?  Lack of enthusiasm?

It all brings me back to the same question: Am I a writer?  Or am I just kidding myself?

9 thoughts on “Am I a Writer?

  1. Don’t give up, never give up. I know I dream and try to be a writer and I mostly fail. I think the best advice I could give is find something you love, a passion and blog about it (every day if possible).

    I think if you develop a consistency in writing every day then you begin to get into a habit of writing more and more.

    I don’t really have answers I’m just offering an idea. I’ve gotten into this habit that every day I need to write something. It’s now an addiction. Now I need to learn to make sense, proof read and stop going off in tangents.

    Good Luck

  2. You’re a writer.

    You see, my father, thinks he’s a writer. He’s got a plan for a book and has written three chapters. He has sent me the chapters for editing (I don’t know why he does this because he doesn’t know I write) but when I edit it (the writing is really bad – and I’m being nice) and I tell him, ‘Nice plot, but improve your craft’, he stops writing and takes up another hobby.

    In my mind, that’s what separates the writers from the wannabes. A writers is someone that looks back when they’re dying and can say, ‘I had family and friends. I may have been a _______ as a trade but I was a writer at heart.’

    Just my thoughts.

    ann

  3. rachel, congrats on getting a poem published. i am, without a doubt, ecstatic. that is amazing.

    you wrote a book, one that rings true in love. i can feel you in the writing. it is amazing and it will get published. just don’t give up. it will happen for you. i know it.

  4. Rachel–
    Congrats on the poem. Like the others said, don’t give up. You have talent. Who has a top ten novel on TNBW? Hundreds of other authors can’t claim that. I certainly can’t. Heck, my mom doesn’t even read my blog 🙂 But I’ve read that the key to what separates the writers from the non-writers is their perserverence. Doubt, that’s normal, but refuse to give into it.

  5. Rach – Don’t give up!!! You are a writer! If you weren’t I would be waiting (impatiently) to find out what happened to Adrian or to know just what you have planned for Anita. You’ve done something few people have – you finished a novel and it’s awesome! Not only that but you’re about to be a published author!!!! I have countless stories started on my computer that will never see the light of day again. I’ll keep waiting for you to post something (even if it’s justa revision!)
    🙂 Ang

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