That sentence causes me discomfort – almost literal and physical – to type. It comes with lots of strings attached. Baggage, that idea is. I’m so so good at overthinking. When I type that sentence “outloud” I think of all these questions that I’m sure everyone’s going to ask.
You’re a writer?
What have you written?
What are you working on?
Are you published?
That’s not a writer.
Oh, like just on Amazon? That’s not really being published.
Well you just do it on a blog?
Are you any good?
Do you make money?
Why are you a writer and not an author?
What do you like to write?
Like, for real?
Do people actually read what you write?
The worlds wants you to legitimize everything. To name, qualify, quantify, and justify. Everything has to have a reason and it better be a good one or it just doesn’t count – it won’t be enough. And there are many answers to all of those questions. Some of my answers are legitimate. And some of them are just plainly expressing the fact that I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve always loved to write.
From a young age I would concoct stories and loved typing them out on our (ancient!) word processor. For a short while I even had a typewriter that my Dad had picked up for me. A garage sale I think? I covered it in puff paint and LOVED typing on it.
When I got older it transformed into poetry and deeper longer thought out pieces. I started book after book and fell in love with the characters I wrote about. Names are fun to think about. I was on a Kids in the Hall stint for quite sometime and you could tell. Whether romantic boyfriends, platonic friends, or mysterious love interests – there was always a Dave, Scott, Kevin, etc. thrown in. (The Kids in the Hall, for those sad souls who don’t know, was a comedic troupe from Canada that had a show on Comedy Central for a long while. There were five main comedians: Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, and Bruce McCulloch. And yes, I might have recited that from memory 16 years after the fact… I used to set the timer on the VCR at my mom’s place when I was a Freshman and watch the day’s reruns on VHS after school. So cool, man, so cool.)
In highschool it came out a lot in my English work. My 9th grade english teacher was a bear. I didn’t like him. But part of the reason I didn’t like him was that he pushed me. He pushed me to be a better reader and writer – just excelling at both (because I did!) and liking it wasn’t enough. We would go through college-level literature and take a full page of notes on a 4-line poem. I ate it up. That was one of the only things I liked about the class. Well, that’s not entirely true. I liked other things too.
Aside from the school work writing, I did a lot of writing in music form during my high school years. Melody, accompaniment, and lyrics. I wrote song after song after song. I really enjoyed it. Or enjoyed sitting in my vocalized dysthymia. Regardless – whether I was that generalized version of “happy” or “sad” I wrote to channel and focus and concentrate it.
When I was pregnant with Olivia I still dabbled in it, but it wasn’t the same. The music felt juvenile. I was older now, after all! I wrote… A LOT… on my LiveJournal “blog” after Olivia was born and that kept me satiated for a while. Later on I started again on blogs but in different places. It all kind of led to this – this hodge podge place where I come, not as often as I should, and brain dump every once in a while.
But I’ve come to learn that it’s something I need. And need more frequently than I allow myself. Something that’s not just a want but an actual need. Whether it’s here. Whether it’s privately. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. For me, life needs to be written. It craves to be written. And that? It made me realize that I am something.
I am a writer.