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.”