I Want To Be A Writer.

Have you ever had one of those moments when the answer ‘No’ came from your lips when what you really wanted to say was ‘Yes’? Let me explain myself. It was a fairly normal Friday morning in my local coffee shop, I’d been there for about an hour, was on my second latte and writing in my notebook, oblivious to the world around me. It was then that I noticed the lady on the table next to mine was smiling at me, I politely smiled back ……. and that’s when it happened. It was such a traumatic and embarrassing moment that I’m almost tempted to abandon this post, but I need to go on, I feel an urge to purge my soul. What, you must be wondering, had this lady done that was so disconcerting? It was not what she did but rather what she said, she asked me a question, which, with hindsight, was both simple and obvious. If only hindsight had been my companion this morning.

She simply asked, “I couldn’t help but notice your notepad …. are you a writer?” She caught me unawares and without thinking I said, “No, not really.” Despite her disappointment she carried on and actually gave me a chance to redeem myself by saying, “Oh, so what are you writing?” Did I grab the life belt that she had thrown me, did I heck! “Nothing much. Just a few scribbles for my blog.” I replied, almost apologetically. “Lovely.” she said, obviously wishing she had never asked. I, ashamedly, went back to my ‘scribbling’.

Why did I find it so difficult to admit to being a writer? If I’d said yes to the lady in the coffee shop she might even have asked me for my autograph! I suppose the problem is that I don’t yet have the confidence to call myself a writer. I’ve not written any books, or poems, not had any short stories published or been successful in any writing competitions. Aren’t these the sorts of things that ‘real writers’ do?

But I do write a couple of blogs. Does that count as being a ‘writer’? I’m writing. I electronically put my thoughts down on electronic paper and I have an audience. I may not personally know the audience but it is slowly growing and some of my readers are kind enough to respond to my writing. I suppose that makes me a writer – of sorts. I found these words of encouragement from the author Robin McKinley so next time a lady in a coffee shop smiles at me I will be ready.

“For anyone who is: just keep writing. Keep reading. If you are meant to be a writer, a storyteller, it’ll work itself out. You just keep feeding it your energy and giving it that crucial chance to work itself out. By reading and writing.”

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11 Responses to I Want To Be A Writer.

  1. penpusherpen says:

    I keep feeding it my energy, and every time I do, I panic that the muse will disappear, leaving me staring helplessly at a blank page… xPenx

    • Mike says:

      Hi Pen. Thanks for dropping by.
      It’s strange just how one minute we crave a blank page because we can’t wait to fill it. Yet at other times that page can remain stubbornly blank and scary.

  2. Trevor says:

    I think I would have answered in the same way, though luckily I’ve won a couple of very small competitions.

    I was asked by my English teacher (so many years ago now) if he could have a copy of one of my poems to hang in his study. The glow on my face was enough to heat the room but I also swelled with pride when I saw it hanging there in the frame in his study.

    I simply enjoy the process and don’t care whether anyone reads or not. I write for my own pleasure. The same goes for my blog, I sit down most evenings, surfing around whilst my day takes it’s own form in my head, then I write! I’ve found if you can relax about your writing, you can write. It may not mean anything to anyone else though 😉

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Trevor.
      It is amazing what impact teachers can have on us – both good and bad.
      Unfortunately we sometimes remember the put downs as vividly as we do the praise.

  3. Part of the reluctance comes from the fact many folks don’t understand and think a writer ought to get a real job.

    Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”

    • Mike says:

      Glad you stopped by Dr Tom.
      I know what you mean. As someone who has recently retired from a ‘real’ job I still need to get my head around the fact that writing is fun but hard work.

  4. theworldaccordingtomax says:

    Always answer “yes.” Always. For a writer you will always be. The instant pen touched paper and your own thoughts flowed, you became one. As did each of us here.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Max.
      After all the support I’ve had for this post I’m sorely tempted to search out that lady from the coffee shop and tell her I’ve changed my mind. I said No but I meant Yes!

  5. metoo says:

    Dr.Tom is right 😀
    I was thinking along the same lines today. Someone was making fun of a fellow blogger, and I wanted to slap that narrow-minded person.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for dropping by.
      I’ve often thought that these narrow minded people are often the most insecure. Slapping them might be one solution!

  6. Pingback: Another Blog | Random Thoughts

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