Looking back at the amount of journals I kept over the years – not necessarily keeping them filled and fed – and the number of blogs I started – again, not truly committing to them – and how many notes I have on my iPhone and even the old blackberry, notes about my feelings, emotions or experiences, all written down for posterity and a little bit of therapy, and finally, the folder I have on my computer that is called [My Writing], which is filled with word documents of things I wrote. I honestly don’t know how I can look at all of that, and still question my vocation as a writer, and natural attraction to write it all down – do I need someone to stamp it across my forehead in order for me to believe it?
Why is there so much fear in saying that I am a writer, an artist or a creative in general? Why do I have to justify or explain how it is that I came to the conclusion that I am in fact just that – a writer, an artist, a creative? Is it the fact that I haven’t published my work yet? Is that a requirement? Do I need to be published in order for me to be able to say my vocation out loud when asked what it is I do? Why do I feel like I can’t proclaim my writer status? I am proud of it. I am proud of the hours I dedicate for my art and writing on any given day. I’ve done it since my early childhood. I fall back on it every time I need to and it’s the only constant in my life, even when I don’t even realize it.
The reason I am writing this, is because I have been truly struggling with these questions. Struggling with writing my novel for NaNoWriMo and questioning my choices every step of the way. I’ve shut down the editor mode but it keeps restarting and even when I don’t oblige the editor, it continues to taunt me and cloud my mind, mucking up my story along the way. Wait for your turn editor, you will get your time, I promise, just give me 10 more days goddammit.
It’s not just the editor though, there are two more things that are worse and keep popping up at the worst possible moment, they are, ‘doubt‘ and ‘who do you think you are‘. They conspire against me and my story. Make me question every sentence I write. Even after I complete my word count for the day, I wake up the next morning, still reeling from all the ruckus from last night. I get into the story with a crappy frame of mind and that totally hurts the story. And mind you, I still write any way, because that’s what you do, write no matter what. I’ll fix it later.
Not only do I keep on writing, but I seek out motivation and thankfully find a lot of it in the pep talks given by published successful authors on the NaNoWriMo website. I participate in write-ins and word sprints and follow random prompts, and I always, always, make the word count at the end of the day. That’s the job, right? 50k words in November. I made a promise, not that I am particularly good with promises I make to myself, but this one, it’s something else. This promise is about writing, the only constant in my life, I kinda need to fulfill it. I think about November 30th and how I am going to feel about completing something. It’ll be the – I want to say only, but I also want to stay optimistic – first personal project that I ever start, and finish. I can’t put into words how that feels; good doesn’t quite cut it, but good.
I don’t care that ‘editor‘, ‘doubt‘ and ‘who do you think you are‘ are taking what seems to be a permanent shelter in my brain. I wrote this in my journal the other day. I wrote more words after which went into my novel. I wrote something in my notes on the iPhone when I was out with my friends over the weekend. I wrote, I write and I will continue to do so. Even when it sucks, even when I don’t really feel like it, I write. I am a writer and it’s about damn time I realized it.