I chose to write, “dear writer”, but you’re probably having trouble calling yourself a writer. I get it. You probably think you aren’t designated a writer until you have something published, right? Or if you’ve had something published, maybe you don’t think it was very good. Or you don’t think you’re a writer until you feel like an expert in something. Or you don’t think you’re a writer because it’s been a year since you’ve written anything. You might have trouble with the writer title, but I’m here to tell you that you are a writer.
Because here’s the secret: everyone can be a writer. All you have to do is to write. The act of writing makes you a writer. I promise. What a relief. All you have to do in order to be a writer is to write. Now, you’re thinking, if only it were that easy.
And sometimes, it’ll be just that easy. It’ll be like you hear this voice inside you that’s just urging you on, and you have to grab a pen and paper quickly to capture all of your amazing ideas as quickly as possible. You might be in the shower, yelling at your partner to bring you a notepad, quickly. You might be in the middle of the street, and you just have to capture your amazing ideas in the notes section of your phone. Or you might be in a beautiful coffee shop, and the sunlight is streaming in, and you just feel the words coursing through your bones. You’re living and breathing them, and it feels so good to get them down on paper.
Other times, you’ll be inching along. Your curser will blink, and all you’ll see is empty space. Those are times when you’ll stop calling yourself a writer, when you’ll come up with ideas like, “I’m not creative,” or “I’ve lost my ideas,” or even “I’m boring.” When that happens, please listen when I say that that voice isn’t really you. It’s your inner critic, which goes by a bunch of different names, but basically it’s there to keep you safe, and writing feels anything but safe to that critical, comfortable, limiting voice. When you’re onto something, it’ll fight back and tell you that you’re not. Those are the times to reach out to people you trust – people who can tell you just to keep going.
Because in the end, that’s what writing is – showing up. As long as you show up and begin to write, you’re fulfilling your end of the bargain. Sometimes it’ll be easy, and sometimes, it’ll be slow, but you’re always telling a story. It might be more of a page-turner one day, and it might be a bit more rambling of a story the next, but it’s all writing.
Dear, dear writer, you’re doing just fine. I promise. You're doing better than fine. It's all part of your story.
In fierce support of your stories,