I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me! Two out of three ain’t bad.

I had a post all planned for today, but I had a tweet chat with my platform challenge peeps last night, and I’m feeling feisty.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.  Labels matter.  As writers, we believe in the power of stories.  That’s why we tell them.  That’s why we treasure them.  The most important stories are the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves. That tape loop that runs inside our heads, hissing at us as we pursue the unexpected path, perhaps the improbable one.

Amateur, wannabe, has been (funny how these two coexist like wrinkles and acne in mid-age), dilettante,  poseur, delusional, fraud.  Have I really earned any of them?  Why am I so fast to burden myself with negative nameplates but affirmation can only come from the outside? Who gave the world that authority over me?  I did.  I’m taking it back.

I am a writer.  This is my job.  The pay and benefits at Self Employed Inc. are not great but I like my coworkers.  Most startups bleed money long before they earn their first sale.  If there is anything I’ve learned it’s that if I’m waiting for the external world to validate my sense of self, I’d better bring a good book, because it will take a while.  Tall poppies and all that.

My writing will never win a Pulitzer, or a Booker prize, or be on a MFA syllabus.  That’s not the dream anyway.  I just want to make someone’s afternoon a little better, or give them a different angle on their own backyard.

If there is anything else I’ve learned, it’s that lots of people suck at their jobs and it doesn’t seem to bother them one little bit.  Some of them don’t even realize it. Do they have to hand back their title on a plate? If they did, the business world would come to a screeching halt.

So, from here on out, you are a writer, or a musician, or whatever it is your passion leads you to be. If anyone questions it, tell them I said so, or better yet, that you said so. Now that we’ve made that clear, what are you going to do about it? Right now, today.

Make your declaration, and write your own story. And most of all, remember that you rock.

13 comments on “I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me! Two out of three ain’t bad.

  1. TheOthers1 says:

    Amen. Good word, Rev. 🙂

  2. mliddle says:

    This is brilliant! It is finally sticking for you! I am so happy beacause aside from you and other people, I think that you are an authentic and engaging writer. Anne Lemott says essentially the same thing. If you write and practice your art everyday, then you are a writer.

    For me, the main thing I’m going to focus on is writing at least 500 words EVERYDAY, even if I am struggling in terms of my health. Ever since I wanted to start a blog, did the research, & have since written several blog posts, I have found new purpose in my life through writing. Therefore, continuing w/my writing is fundamentally important to whom I am.

    Thank you so much for this post,

  3. Becca says:

    Fantastic!! I AM WRITER, HEAR ME ROAR!!

  4. Claire Cappetta says:

    I hear you, I was so stuck in my last profession it has taken awhile for my mind to catch up. lol
    My husband comes up, hugs me and says “My writer wife” I used to say “I’m not a writer. I’m a in finance pretending to be a writer” He’d laugh.
    And darn it you are right! If I’m spending 12-14 hours a day writing then I guess I turned into a writer, it crept up on me 🙂
    So I guess I should be like you and Becca… here me ROAR!! lol

  5. Thanks for this! Enjoyed to thoroughly. Now on to suck… or not… at my own writing! 🙂

  6. danadampier says:

    Thank you! ; ) I am a writer… I don’t suck.

  7. Cindy Brown says:

    One of my favorite SNL skits!

    I just did my Woo-hoo Wednesday post and I’ve decided I’m going to write a book. Couldn’t be more psyched to be a writer, even though I apparently work for the same company you do. I don’t pay myself too well, but I love the co-workers! :0)

  8. Roar on, my writer peeps! Together we will make a lot of noise.

  9. Lara Britt says:

    A cup of coffee in one hand and Life’s lapels in the other. Armed and dangerous. Not much to lose and all the world to gain. Let the day begin. I’m a writer. Hear my keyboard tap the proclamation! Thx. Your post was like an extra shot in my morning joe.

  10. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    You said it, girl! Excellent post!

  11. Veronica Roth says:

    What to say…what to say…I live in a no man’s land between two lofty towers of culture. I’m a writer but also an artist. I juggle word and image equally. I’m a writerartist or an artistwriter. Have your pick. Just don’t put me in the artist category if you’re the literary type or the writer pigeon hole if you’re the artist type. Take me seriously please!

  12. muddykinzer says:

    This was great! You go girl! Follow your passion: that’s good advice for all of us!

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