Not all writers are best writing writers, and they don’t have to be just to get the prestige title. Sadly, most people who dream to write a book or to become a writer would not push through at all because they thought that in order to become a writer, it’s either they finish a writing degree in college, has a professional writing job in a company, or that they must be so good at it.
For the longest time, I denied to myself that I’m a writer because I was not good at it. Countless ideas, thoughts and imaginations have taken away by the wind because I felt that I am not good enough, that my works are too ordinary, lack genius, and that I have so many high school classmates who can write way better than me. Looking back, I realized that these reasons that restricted me to treat myself as a true writer were due to lack of self-worth, that rooted out from the mentality of always looking on the outside instead of what’s inside of me. I defined myself based on people who write better than me; by my written works that were not pleasurable to read; and from the belief that writing is only for those who are good in grammar, vocabulary and crafting beautiful sentences.
In earlier generations, writer is defined as someone who is doing a writing job for a company, or has written a book, of which are still true to our present time. However, it creates a limiting belief to aspiring writers that not until you publish a book, or work as a professional writer in a company, you cannot be called a writer. But what does it really takes to become a writer?
Why is it in the first place, there is a question of who the real writer is? I personally went through this dilemma of identity crisis with regard to the career that I want to pursue. When I was six years old, my dream of becoming a writer started to grow, and deep inside I already felt like I was a writer at the time even if I wrote just few pieces of short stories at the back pages of my school notebooks. I would secretly call myself ‘a writer’ because the feelings and desire were crystal clear to me — that I was born to write. This genuine calling to write lasted until I set my feet in high school, where I met fellow students who are so good in grammar and sentence construction.
“I thought my calling is to be a writer. But how can I be a writer if my classmates who do not dream to become a writer write way better than I can?” A question that shifted everything how I see myself and my crystal clear dream then became blurry. My classmates were like a slap on my face as if waking me up to stop dreaming and believing that I can be a writer. I had difficult time accepting that they are better than me; that they don’t desire to become a writer but have the impressive talent, while I only have the heart for it but never the skill. In my sullen heart, that’s so unfair! God should have given me the gift in writing because I deserve that better than them.
It was the beginning of how I ruined a pure and genuine dream. I sabotaged myself by always comparing my works with other young adults; questioning God for not being gracious enough to me; and hating myself for not being good in grammar, vocabulary and english literature. As I compare my works to others, I developed a strong conviction that I cannot be a writer, and the fear that I will never improve in this craft grew much more.
The identity crisis went about and reside in me for more than a decade. From a young girl who once felt so authentic with her calling as a writer, I became an insecure teenager who didn’t know what to believe about myself anymore. Going back to the question, what does it really takes to become a writer?
In this blog, I would like to give birth to my own definition of writer. With due respect to fellow writers, I am not condemning anybody’s writing definitions and intentions. This is just my personal perspective about writing based on my experiences and wide eyes open observations. My definition also exhibits my strong regard in authenticity as a reflection of one of my life core values — which is to be authentic in all that I do.
My Definition of Writer:
A writer is a person who has a fervent love and passion for writing, and relentlessly doing the act of writing about whatever it is that he is called to write (novels, poems, short stories, feature and news articles, movie scripts, etc); someone who cannot abandon writing from his life because it’s a necessity — like the air that keeps him alive.
It is important to take note these three key phrases — ‘love and passion for writing,’ ‘relentlessly doing the act of writing,’ and ‘writing is like the air that keeps him alive,’ which I consider essential possessions of an authentic writer. Like a triangle, all three legs have to be present in order to call it a triangle, and the absence of one makes it unreal and dysfunctional. It represents the coordination between the heart, mind and body. For a writer, to stay connected and to have it all in alignment is a daily battle wherein exchanges of winning and losing never ends. One day, you are all in to it, then the next day you’re totally out of nerves again, frustrated for being so inconsistent with what a writer should be doing.
But then again, writing is all that there is for a writer. And if authentic love for writing is within a writer’s soul, he will always find ways to stay connected and relentlessly perform the act of writing, no matter what it takes. This love triggered me to finally put my identity crisis to an end. I finally understood and accepted that I may not be the best-writing writer, but I have to write because this is what I am called to consistently do until my last breath. Embracing that writing is all that I want for a purposeful career, my insecurities gradually paved its way out of my spirit.
Encouragement to Fellow Writers:
If you are wondering how I did it, or if I have practical ways that helped me heal my insecurities and confusions, I do have. But I think that should be expressed on a separate blog. For now, all I want to share here are my thoughts and how I honor writing in a deeper level. This is to encourage you to not give up on your dreams, and most especially, do not give up on yourself — because you can be that writer that you want to be. You can write that story and poem that has been in your mind for a while now. I want to let you know that you are not the only one who experience frustrations, insecurities, and inconsistent focus and habits in writing. If you think you are a writer, believe that you are, and do not give up until you find yourself doing it, relentlessly and purposely.
If you think you need help in your writing journey:
I created Pursue Writing: The 365 Days Writing Coaching Program to help you reconnect with your writer’s soul, establish clarity and habits in writing, meet and be inspired by fellow writers that provides accountability, and a lot more. All of these in 365 days to really give time and space to hone your passion, discipline and skills in writing.
If you are curious about my Pursue Writing Program, do not hold back. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can discuss to you in further details how this program can strongly help and guide you to be that writer that you have been imagining for yourself.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Her mission in life is to write and help other aspiring writers make their dream writing projects happen.
She says, “There is a strong urge from the core of my soul that I have to let my thoughts, wisdom and stories out through a platform that is accessible by people all over the world.”
She is from Manila, Philippines.