So it’s day one of 15 Habits of Great Writers, and already I am being made to think very hard about my perceptions of myself.
Today Jeff is asking me to declare I am a writer.
The difficulty I am having with this speaks volumes. I work full time in Industrial Relations a career that involves advising and problem solving, rarely writing. I want to write a novel but I am struggling to find the time…I haven’t even wrote so much as a short story in a long time. This blog is called ‘Apparently a writer’ for a good reason, it is a title I chose to nudge me every time I read it, to give me the mental push of “Dani, you can’t call yourself a writer if you don’t write…get writing!”. For many people, the problem is that they don’t consider themselves writers if they are not published. I am not so hard nosed about it but I struggle to consider myself a writer when I don’t write much at all, whether it be for profit or for leisure. But sometimes we have to remember that being a writer is not always about physically sitting down and writing. Life gets in the way. But I AM A WRITER. I always have been. There are things that prove this to me every day and I have to start seeing them for what they are. I have got to stop calling myself a ‘wannabe writer’. I AM a writer, who is a wannabe novelist! 🙂
Evidence that I am a writer, which I need to remember:
- My whole life I have caught myself narrating the scenes around me, the day as it ticks along, in my head. I picked up on this when I lived in Sydney and commuted by train for 45 minutes each way to work. I wasn’t just observing the chaos of city rail, I was describing it in narrative form in my head, detailing the actions and idiosyncrasies of other passengers, the mood of the day, and the weather, sounds and smells I was experiencing. It was no wonder I would often shut my eyes and blast my headphones and take a nap. I was exhausting myself!
- I recently started a sewing blog, and this blog, and returned to my old blog, and I love them. Blogging is writing after all!
- In a previous job in HR and OHS, I managed to work my way into a communications role that I loved, writing a newsletter read by several thousand employees, releasing staff alerts, and writing intranet pages from scratch. I loved the work and was told I was very good at it. I was very much under qualified for the job and only got in through persistence and proving my ability to write.
- Even in my current job I have discovered I achieve far better outcomes by writing emails than by calling, people understand me better and often comment about how well things are written. It is not that I communicate terribly when speaking, more so that I communicate so well when writing. A bonus when in my line of work email is usually a hindrance.
I think when it comes to declaring oneself a writer, a big block is the idea that it means “professional writer”: either a published author or a person who has decided to live on the poverty line for a while to see if they can be a published author. I am neither of these things, and I never get time to creatively write, which is what I want. But that is ok. That is not the only way to be a writer.
I am a writer by nature and in my heart.
THAT, I declare.