How do you know if you’re a writer? Do you know when someone says, “Hey! I saw your byline in Barnes & Noble the other day! Good work!”? Or when you say to yourself, “I’m a writer. I am. I am. I am”? Do you know when you land that first publishing contract or take part in your very own book signing?
I think a writer is someone who writes because he or she can’t not write.
I majored in Communication/Print Media. Worked in public relations and marketing. Wrote press releases, news articles and feature stories by the boatload. Ditto short stories, novellas, historical fiction and devotionals. Even dabbled in a little poetry here and there when no one was lookin’. Some of my work has “seen the light.” Some not.
Know what? It doesn’t matter. Because writing is more than a profession. Much more. It’s a calling. Something you were born to do. That’s not to say that writing will always come easily, effortlessly, like falling off a chair. Writing is work. But for real writers, there’s nothing more satisfying than… writing.
Something to Say
If you’re a writer, you have something to say. A part of yourself to give. A story to clawing at your guts, bellowing to be let out and dribbled onto paper or keyboard. Trying to bottle up a story in a writer is like trying to cork a Tyrannosaurus Rex into a pint-sized milk carton.
Let it out. Say it. Give it. Share it.
Keep at It
Whether or not you land a publishing contract doesn’t really matter. You’ll get better with practice and persistence. If you’re a real writer, you won’t quit. Even in the face of rejection letters. (Don’t let that curmudgeonly editor discourage you. Learn from his criticism and improve.)
If you’re a real writer, you can’t not write. It’s who you are. With or without an audience. Whether people are listening or not. Writing is something you were born to do, a craft under constant revision. It’s something you need… Like fish need water. Birds need air.
What matters is that you start. Today. Be prepared to learn, grow, explore and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. You can do it!