Writing Is Hard

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized, writing
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Being a writer is a funny thing. Sooner or later everyone asks themselves “Am I really a writer?” The reasons vary by person but the question always seems to pop up. The doubt. There are no awards or certificates or degrees that make you a writer. You can be a writer without them. No one can tell you you’re a writer. It’s something you have to tell yourself. It’s something you have to keep telling yourself even on those days when you think you’re a hack and your prose isn’t even mediocre and you may never write again because you’re just that frustrated.

Writing is hard.

Most lawyers and doctors and engineers don’t generally have this problem. Pharmacists don’t stop filling prescriptions because they have this sudden feeling that they’re not really pharmacists. Sure, they have all the training and they’ve been doing it for years but maybe they’re wrong. Maybe there’s a better pharmacist somewhere, someone who puts their prescriptions to shame, and how can they ever compete with that? It sounds silly, doesn’t it?

But writing is different. Because it is a choice. It’s a choice you have to make for yourself and you have to keep making it over and over again. You have to invent your own training. You make your own certificates and awards by whatever means necessary. “Today I wrote 200 words.” “I finished a short story for the first time.” “I got over my writer’s block.” “I didn’t quit.”

No one makes you write. You can love writing with your whole soul but no one can make you feel like a writer, not unless you want to be one. No one tells you to be a writer. But if you’re sitting there with your head in your hands wondering “Am I really a writer?” you’re probably a writer. Actually, I’m fairly certain you’re a writer. Because only writers ask “Am I really a writer?”

I know I’ve circled that question like a vulture for years. On the days when I feel like a hack. On the days when no words seem to fit. But by some miracle there are days when I sit down to work and things click back into place. Those are the days that I can nod and say, “Yes. I’m a writer.” And I wouldn’t miss those days for anything.

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