What it means to be ‘a writer’

I’m a writer. A dreamer. A starving artist. A long haired coffee chugger. You know Рa writer.

The truth is you haven’t heard of me. That‚Äôs because I‚Äôm that special breed of writer known as the aspiring writer.¬†I am not a NYT bestseller. I am not even published. I do not get invited to conventions in order to¬†spray audiences¬†from my¬†endless fount of wisdom. No, I am the type of¬†writer who¬†huddles in the dark corners of¬†coffee shops, pounding away on my crumb covered keyboard, penning stories that may never make it into bookstores or onto Amazon. And, when I’m not writing, or sleeping, I’m working my ‘day jobs.’

It’s a…unique existence, covering the whole gambit of ups and downs. Sometimes, when I’m feeling extra brave, I peer¬†down the road of my¬†future. And there, I see nothing but big question marks.¬†Will I ever get published?¬†Will people read my books? Is there a point to these¬†thousands of hours of work?

Those questions aren’t answered–but they have power. And yet, despite their power, day after day I emerge¬†out of my grungy little basement apartment, post up in my favorite coffee shop, and work on my stories. And, when I look not into my future but inward, I see to the heart of my battle. There,¬†I see the swirling hope of being published, the hope of being a bestseller, the hope of recognition and acceptance. ¬†I hear the whispering voices of fear; fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear that maybe I just can’t string together a good sentence.¬†I even deeper, I feel¬†the false messages, which claim ‘I can’t do it,’ and ‘my voice doesn’t deserve to be heard.’

But, amidst this swirling, noise mess, lies a solid, shining gem–a small but powerful truth.¬†That gem,¬†that truth, is unbreakable, and it¬†cannot and will not be silenced. And that truth is just four, simple words.

I love to write.

That’s my core. That’s why I do this. That’s what keeps me chugging along, the little writer who could. I won’t lie–it’s a battle.¬†Daily, just like¬†my characters, I am waging an inner war with myself. Some days I lose, and those foul messages take over¬†for a time. Same days I win, and my truth shines out,¬†bright and pure. But every day, regardless of outcome, I put finger to keyboard, and I learn. Through the¬†stories I write, I learn about myself and my life. Through my characters, I learn about pain and truth and love and grief and triumph.¬†And, despite what may lie¬†down the road of my future, and what the answer to those looming questions may be, that truth, my¬†truth, right at the center, is all I need.

So yes–I am¬†a writer. Yes, I love it. And this is my¬†journey.