Not Really a Writer?

There are some questions that shouldn’t be difficult. What’s your name? How do you like  your coffee? Where do you go to school? During Chicago Tardis, I was asked a theoretically non-difficult question that left me stumped. “Do you write?”

I’ve never seen myself as a writer. And if the question had been, “Are you a writer?” it would have been a lot easier to answer. But asking if I write is different. I’ve written papers for college and cover letters for jobs, but most people do that at various points in their lives. It doesn’t mean that they write.

My automatic response to being asked if I write is to say no. I’ve been replying in the negative for too many years to break the habit. I don’t write novels, I don’t write poetry, I don’t even write fanfiction. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that my instinctive answer might be wrong. I posted my first article to this blog in August, and, since then, I’ve been coming up with new ideas quicker than I can possibly write them.

I’ve started carrying a notebook around with me so that I can jot down ideas as I get them, and a voice recorder for when I get ideas while I’m driving. But it wasn’t until a friend caught me scribbling down an article in the middle of a restaurant that my view on writing began to change. Before that, no one had really expressed any interest in what I was posting, or whether I was posting anything at all. But this friend let me bounce my ideas off of him, and convinced me that maybe I was ready to write an article that more than a handful of people would ever read.

Scary. Very, very scary.

But I have an article in the upcoming issue of The Terrible Zodin, and it’s an article that I’m quite proud of. Maybe it’s not groundbreaking, but I think it’s interesting. Hopefully other people will agree with me. But the most important part is that it’s going to be out there.

I don’t remember who I first heard say that a writer is someone who has to either write or they’ll go crazy, but I know I’m definitely not one of those people. But no one ever said that that was the only definition. I doubt that I’ll ever say, or want to say, that I’m a writer. But the next time someone asks me, “Do you write?” I think I might be confident enough to say yes.

****I do intend to post the article I wrote for The Terrible Zodin here eventually, especially since here is where it was originally intended to be posted. But until then, go download and read the zine! If you’re a fan of Doctor Who at all, you won’t regret it.****

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