Finding permission to be called a writer

IMG_8723I am a writer.


It is that simple. I AM a writer.


How can I call myself a writer when there is little current evidence of my craft? That question often plagues me and holds me down like a wrecking ball resting on a pile of broken walls. I also transfer that question into others, though I have no idea if they really feel that way.


How can you call yourself a writer? You don’t write every day, you don’t get paid for what you do write and your book isn’t selling itself? Those critical questions open the door to shame.


My personal favorite admonition: “Nobody wants me as a writer…”


But, I AM a writer.


Daniel José Older, in his blog Writing Begins with Forgiveness: Why One of the Most Common Pieces of Writing Advice is Wrong, states that shame, more than anything else, stops people from writing. He debunks the advice that to be a writer, you have to write every day. That idea is one of the biggest causes of shame.


I found his blog at the right time. I needed to release the shame and give myself permission to be the writer I am. For me, the should-have-could-have-would-haves are paralytic. The shame can leave my brain word-tied as I stare at the monitor with my hands on the keys.


Every individual has a life rhythm of his or her own, so why can’t it be the same for writers?


It IS the same. My writing rhythm is mine alone, and has changed over the years as my life circumstances have changed. I have gone from journaling, to chain writing that transformed into poetry, to journalism, to writing a book. The words vary from gratitude and praise, to making a stand, to telling a story, or to just emptying my mind.


I have a love affair with words that started when I was young, and there is no way to escape it. Long periods away from writing truly affect who I am and how I deal with the world. Words and writing help keep me sane, and I know when I am not writing, who I am suffers. If that doesn’t make me a writer, I don’t know what does.


I am working on giving myself permission to call myself a writer without shame or embarrassment, even though my day job is currently a production coordinator.


So, even if there is little current public evidence of me being a writer, so be it! I AM a writer!



Speak Your Mind