I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I dream in words, falling to the soft bed of my stories, escaping to a world that I have come to make my own. My fingers fiddle across the keyboard, a world ready to be born, a tale ready to be told.
When I rest, I look at the piles and piles of drafts that writhed into darkness, never to be relit.
Should I be a writer? I ask myself as I rip a page of my draft into pieces.
Do you ever ask yourself this question? If you do, it’s not an crazy question because many writers go through the process of asking if they should actually be a writer.
But here’s the real thing: you are a writer if you write. That’s the bottom line. Being an English major with a concentration in creative writing or getting your M.F.A. in creative writing doesn’t make you a writer. Sure, if you’ve done those things you are most definitely a writer, but those things aren’t the only things that make you a writer.
You’re are a writer if you’ve written pages, and pages.
You’re a writer if you’ve only had time to write one page.
You’re a writer if you’ve been published.
You’re a writer if you haven’t been published.
You’re a writer if you haven’t taken any fiction writing classes.
You’re a writer if you have taken a fiction writing class but haven’t written anything since.
Now, the question of whether it should be a professional job or not is a different question, with a different set of thinking. Also that’s kind of a big decision there’s a bit more to it than saying that you’re a writer because you write. Writing then becomes a job and you have to have a portfolio…blah, blah, blah. All of that stuff doesn’t mean that you can’t be a writer, it just means that you’re going to have a different mindset than having one that only has writing as a hobby. But that’s another post for another time.
Practice starts now. Read, write, have people read your writing, but above all keep writing.
Your drafts aren’t empty. They are pieces of something greater. So keep writing.