Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I Am A Writer

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I am a writer. 

Julieanne wrote about her struggle with owning these words today on her blog. I wrote about my own struggle with claiming this title a couple of weeks ago, here

I am a writer. Since I first blogged about this struggle, I finished a week at a writing retreat. It changed me. I am a writer. I am writing a book. 

What changed for me? How are those words easier (not easy) for me to say and mean? Routine and discipline. I am a writer. Every morning, I dedicate two hours to write. I show up even when I don't want to and I put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keys and I write. That's how I will write a book...a little bit at a time. That's how I am a writer...I write everyday. 

Taking on the task of writing a book is a dream come true. I made the decision to do it. That's the first step...making the decision. After that it's doing it. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Writing is hard work. 


Every single time I sit down, I have doubts. I worry that I'm not good enough. I hear that judge voice inside my head that says, "You aren't a real writer." It used to paralyze me. Now, I smirk and think, "If I'm not a real writer, how come I'm writing?!?!" 

To my friends who write but don't call themselves writers. Take the advice that I took from Jeff Goins. In his book, You Are a Writer, he asks Steven Pressfield questions about being a writer. Goins asked, "When do you really become a writer? When you...?" Pressfield said, "When you say you are." 

Every day I write down these words in my notbeook, I AM A WRITER. (That's an exercise from the same book I mentioned above.) Every day, I write. 


I don't know if my book will ever be published. It doesn't really matter. It's the writing. Sitting down every day and writing. It's an extreme act of faith. Each day I write, I learn something about myself. I leave you with the words of one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott...

“I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do---the actual act of writing---turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.”

16 comments:

  1. Lovely. I was lucky enough to hear Dan Santat give his speech when he accepted the Caldecott award last week. I was in tears. It speaks to all the reasons why we don;t call ourselves writers. If you haven't read it, you can do so here:

    http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecott2015-speech-lores_final.pdf

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  2. For generations people have written because they are alive. It is a more recent phenomenon that people have started to think of writing as something you do when you have to. You are a writer, I know because I read what you have written. I think about your writing long after I leave your blog.

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  3. Follow our dream, do the hard work, keep the joy, repeat the mantra. You are in a good place in your writing life.

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    1. I am impressed with your two hours of daily writing.

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  4. I am sensing a theme for SOL today. I took off the long weekend while traveling and didn't write. It felt fake. It felt like I was not myself. So I plan to show back up in the chair again. That's the commitment and the joy.

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  5. Your writing is "an extreme act of faith". I will think about those words all day. Thanks for WRITING.

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  6. Michelle, thanks for this inspiring and deep felt post.

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  7. I'm glad you saw Julieanne's post today since it was similar to this. (Had I not been there first, I would've recommended you read what she wrote.)

    Yes, Michelle, you certainly are a writer. In fact, your new routine reflects a writerly discipline!

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  8. Beautiful, Michelle. I love that final part about the tea ceremony. It's true, isn't it? You definitely are a writer!

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  9. Wow, Michelle! It is so exciting to read this post! You are an inspiration!

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  10. Oh, my friend! I am so proud and impressed with your dedication and faith. The quotes made me smile. I love Anne Lamott's words. Every one of them. It is so much about the process. It's also in the dialogue with others. I'm so glad you are a part of my inner dialogue. I have the same experience Kim has. Your words linger.

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  11. Oh writing! I do love it too. Love how you closed with with Lamott's words. Good writing work ahead for you, Michelle.

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  12. Oh I love your post today. I spent most of last summer on my novel - and then at the end of the summer - I changed the audience - and then - sadly I walked away for a while....but you give me hope and impetus - I too don't know if my book will ever be published, but sitting down to write is indeed "an act of faith." it's the writing that is important - not the publication - and that is why I am writing today - even though my life is very dark right now - because writing helps and is important. I guess I too am a writer!

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  13. No surprise to have such a joyful, bold post from you! I love your strong writing identity and the effort you are putting into writing. I am so excited to read your book. I agree with the other posts that say your writing stays with us...you are a compelling writer!

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  14. Your pens and glittery letter prove it -- you ARE a writer! I always thought so. I love reading your stuff! Jennifer Sniadecki

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  15. Michelle, you are letting your thoughts fly into the universe daily because you are a writer! Yeah! Laura Robb gave me sound advice years ago: carve out writing time daily. I have taken that to heart and even though sometimes there is no time in my day, I feel compelled to write something. Good for you that you have started the journey that you wanted to travel. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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