This is one of those ‘controversial’ topics and they come a dime a dozen. So what do I have to offer that is of any difference? Well, my own personal preference of course! My thoughts on the subject matter. And my thoughts matter. I know they do because I say they do and that’s good enough for me. J I am a writer. Have I gotten mass media to recognize anything? Not yet. Have I made millions or thousands or even hundreds of dollars from writing? Nope. If I do that’s an added bonus. Do I want to? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to. Would I die utterly miserable and despondent if I never do? No; and I won’t give up on writing either.
So what makes a writer a writer? Better yet, what makes me a writer? Does answering that with ‘I write’ enough? Somehow, I doubt it does so I’ll go a bit deeper. Writing began as a childhood passion for me. Nobody ever suggested to me that I should ‘write a story about….’ I just did it. I took solace in expressing myself through the written word. Unexplainable pains, unanswerable questions, secret worlds, and so much more came out of me the moment my pencil touched the paper. Poetry, stories, songs, journals, and well…you get the drift.
If I wasn’t writing I was reading. I spent my days after school at the library. At age eight I discovered e.e. cummings, Emily Dickenson, and the Babysitter’s Club. At nine it was The Boxcar Children and Choose Your Own Adventure Books. At ten it was Lois Duncan. By the time I was eleven I was walking down the aisles trying to find the fattest books because I would finish them too quickly. By the time I was twelve I had discovered Tolkien and King and at fourteen I discovered the endless sagas of V.C. Andrews and Nora Roberts. I was all over the place as you can tell. I loved it all; couldn’t get enough of it.
So I was writing and reading from the get-go. I began journaling when I was twelve. I’m often amazed it wasn’t sooner than that. I think it is only because I had another outlet for releasing my feelings before then.
I struggled for a long time. Right before I turned nineteen I got married and immediately moved into the maternal phase as well. The desire to write never left but it just got a lot harder for me. I dealt with depression (though at the time I didn’t recognize it) and for a good many years I would start something only to leave it behind. My ability to stay motivated or my willingness to stick with something was not there. Every three years I was pregnant and three children later I was still attempting to finish college while living with depression, a workaholic husband, and a starving passion to write. And yet, I still called myself a writer because I felt the need to write daily. I would pick up the pen or sit at the computer. Or I would drum away at the mental thoughts of ideas of a story or a poem.
I would try. I never gave up trying. I have files and files, tables and tables of my attempts. It is not success or failure that makes you a writer; it is taking the path to ensure you succeed or fail that makes you a writer. I’ll do one or the other; there is no way around it because as long as I write I am on that path. I may find that path leads to me to victory. Or it might lead me to defeat. But at least I can say that I got on the path to begin with. And that is why I am a writer. Is it a hobby, a trait, a skill? I would say not because I’ve truly considered giving it up. It would definitely make my life a lot easier. But it just refuses to go away. I’m stuck with it which leads me to believe it is a part of me.