"Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I'll tell you a story." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

15 October 2013

on writing...

First of all, I have to confess to borrowing that title. If you want some real words of wisdom, check out Stephen King's book by the same title--if you have any interest in writing, I highly recommend it. Quite a few quotes from that book have made their way into my quote notebook that's never far from me!

So, a couple of weeks ago I did something crazy amazing (well, to me anyways). I sat out on a bench in the park in the rain and wrote for 3 hours.

Yes, you read that right. Granted, it wasn't a downpour. I was under the cover of the trees and the rain was light enough that I only felt a drop every once in a while. I was able to have my notebook out on my lap without the paper getting wet.

It was unbelievably quiet.
So quiet, in fact, that I actually heard the hop of the rabbit that was surprised to see me in the rain before I ever saw him.

Right after he left, I got to see a mink run across the trail a little ways from where I was sitting. It's pretty amazing what you get to see in nature when there aren't any other people around, sitting like a crazy person writing in the rain.

3 hours in the rain, and I walked away from it feeling more relaxed and refreshed than I can describe. I would have stayed longer but I had to go to class...you know, get back to the real world.

Even after that, though, there's something I hesitate to do--
   it's still hard to call myself a writer.

I have a book out (it's only 99 cents this month (shameless plug right there)) and I don't feel like the same person when I don't take the time to write
   and I'm willing to sit in the rain for 3 hours to write
and it's truly what I would love to spend the rest of my life doing.

But for some reason, I still can't call myself a writer.

People ask me about my writing, and I clam up. I usually mutter something along the lines of, "Oh, it's fantasy--you know, kings and wizards and magic and stuff," and then I change the subject.

Not really the best idea for someone whose only marketing comes from word of mouth, huh?

It makes me crazy, yet it's not something I know how to fix. I read amazing articles about how the first step to becoming a professional writer is to refer to yourself as a writer, to claim the title, but for some reason I just can't make myself do it.

I am a writer.

Guh. Even typing those words leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me desperate to change the subject. I feel like a fraud, to tell you the truth.

I write. I like to write. I'm not myself when I don't write.

But to claim the title of Writer? That magical word that brings to mind people like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Andre Norton, and Max Lucado (a rather eclectic group, I know)?

I still don't feel like I have the right to claim it.
And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I ever will.