Last Monday I wrote about clearing mental clutter–tossing aside the limiting thoughts that weigh me down. I considered a number of options and decided that I needed to start with the big one first.
I don’t want to be a writer. I want to write. There is a difference, at least for me.
At the start of last year I stated, “I am a writer.” I would own it. This was my job, and I would treat it as such.
I’m a methodical kind of gal. I know how to execute. I got up every morning and thought “What do I want to write today?” I produced a lot of material, finished a draft of my novel, did some freelance work. I had so much to say that I couldn’t get it down fast enough. It was exhilarating. It was fun. I published multiple stories. Yay me.
Then something shifted. I got up every morning, and thought “What do I need to write today?” That became “I have to write today,” which became “I don’t know what the heck to write today.” I felt anxious about all of the things I wasn’t doing–platform building, or entering contests, or researching agents. I would never catch up. I was constantly behind.
I’m not going to get all whiny about it, “Boo hoo, writing is so hard, blah blah blah, whatever.” Truth is, being a writer is hard. The expectations to publish, the stress, the lack of pay, the judgment. You create something and put it out there and everyone is looking for something else. It’s a lot like cooking dinner for my family.
But the expectation is all me. It’s all in my head. No one ever said I had to be a writer. I don’t have a deadline. There is no done. There is only the writing.
I may never get my novel published, but from what I hear, getting a novel published doesn’t change things much. I may never make much money, but that’s not what started me writing in the first place. I write because I have stories to tell. I want to make people laugh, or cry, or squeal like they’ve just been handed a cute little puppy.
Writing is not hard. Writing is the easiest thing I do. It’s happiness on a stick. Who doesn’t want that? It’s the label of “writer” that gets in the way. So I’m letting it go.
So, I am not a writer.
Now that that’s finished, excuse me, gotta run. I’ve got some writing to do.
What limiting thought will you throw out today?
Words by J. B. Everett
Photograph “Writing Notes with Grammy” by Don LaVange © 2009 Creative Commons