I’m a Bermudian girl who likes to write. I’ve been writing for years, but now, I want to be a ‘real’ writer.
What does that even mean? Who knows.
It’s actually pretty aggravating to think about, and now that I have fingertips-to-computer-keyboard, about to type an entire post on the topic, I realize I don’t know where to go with this thought. Part of me feels like I’m in the middle of this writing-thing. Deep in the trenches with no turning back. Sitting down for hours, writing thousands of words, dreaming up characters and making them come to life on a page isn’t new to me. Yet, part of me feels like a neophyte, a virgin to the pen or keyboard.
Truth be told, I’ve been writing for so long, by all accounts, I should be a ‘real’ writer already. But I’m not. At least, I don’t think I am. But what does it even mean to be a ‘real’ writer?
A ‘real’ writer is someone who writes.
Plain and simple, right?
But maybe it’s more complicated than that. For example, if you’ve never published (as is my case), are you a ‘real’ writer? If you’re self-published, but not traditionally published (which, to me, seems like an equivalent to the psychologist/counselor thing [though this mindset seems to be changing]), are you still a ‘real’ writer? If all you do is blog on topics that are important and meaningful to you, but you never sit at a wooden desk, with a quill and inkwell by the light of a flame on a withering candlestick… are you a ‘real’ writer? If you are traditionally published, but don’t make a lot of money or obtain fame and notoriety… you get the point.
If you came to this post looking for an absolute answer, you’re about to be sorely disappointed. I don’t have it. As I said above, I’m pantsing right now and have no idea where I’m going with this post. But the answer seems to be subjective, personal. To each his own.
When I sit down and really think about it, for me, being a real writer means having my words printed on a physical and/or electronic page, for other people to read, whether it be one or one thousand (or one-hundred thousand). It means putting characters together (both of the alphabetic and personable sort), in a meaningful way, for the purpose of shifting other people (and you) through emotions, like love, happiness, anger and sadness. For me, to be a real writer means embarking on an exciting journey, learning about the craft. And learning about myself in the process.
The journey began after I finished my Master’s last year in May, 2013. It was then that I decided it was time to invest in little ole’ me: My talents, my hobbies, my passion. Imagine spending years reading articles and textbooks, writing essays and completing internship requirements. It was definitely about that time! I’d spent thousands of dollars on a degree, I didn’t see the harm in spending a few more dollars on my hobby.
I joined writers’ groups, took classes and was ready to embark on another round of educational attainment, only this time, it would be one that was for 100% intrinsic value and not a thing more.
Over the past year, I’ve learned SO MUCH about the craft of writing, such as hooking the reader with the first sentence and ending each chapter with a cliffhanger. Yes, I’ve been writing for longer than a year. In fact, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember – and that’s not cliche (I remember being in kindergarten and writing a ‘book’ about an elephant. I’m not sure if there was a story arc, or what the conflict was, but my chest was pushed out so far, the buttons on my shirt were about to bust open as I asked my teacher to help me staple it together), but learning how to write on purpose has been a new experience.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but the more I write from an informed and learned place, the better my writing has become in a matter of months, but I still have a lot to learn. Even hastily submitting manuscripts, not allowing them to sit in that cold-drawer, and getting rejected a few times has helped.
I’m still not 100% sure about this real-writer thing. Maybe it’s that writing on purpose thing. A ‘real’ writer writes on purpose — for a purpose. One thing I know for sure, I’m very excited about my journey going forward and I look forward to the day when I can say, without a shadow of a doubt that I am, indeed a ‘real’ writer.
You can read more from Brooklyn Knight at http://brooklynknight.net/Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in