Writers. Blocks.

In recent weeks, several people have referred to me as A Writer.

I do not feel this is accurate.

[note: It is not my intention, in this post, to beg for compliments.]

I don't like writing. I like thinking about what I'm GOING to write, but the writing process itself is not my favorite. I don't feel like my words come out right all the time, and sometimes I feel that I've buried my point under similes and run-on sentences.

I thought, when I first began using a computer, that the words would come more easily. And I was overjoyed at not having to work through any rough drafts, since the delete button was so handy and all.

The thing is, it's NOT any easier. It's not EASY, period. I still agonize over word choice, I still backspace a thousand times a day, and I still feel like there's something I could have done better if only I were a Real Writer.

About a month ago, as the assistant principal was asking me nicely not to write any more scathing reviews of other teachers, she said, "I realize that you, as a writer, need an outlet by which to vent your frustrations."

And though I nodded sagely as she said it, I thought, "HA! I totally fooled you!" because ... I'm not a writer.

A couple weeks ago, I was checking through my sitemeter, and saw that several people had been referred to this site from another blog, where the blog owner had said something about my writing.

And though I felt a tiny rush of pride at the praise, I thought, "Is she really talking about me?" because ... I'm not a writer.

Last month, when I wrote about my parents' meeting, my mom told me, "That's the best anniversary present you could have given us."

And though I said thank you and changed the subject, I thought, "What? That old thing?" because ... I'm not a writer.

I'm not a writer; I just like telling stories. And sometimes those stories are about my crappy day at school or what I've knit recently or cleaning the bathroom or something stupid I've done.

I try to make the telling of it as interesting as possible without coming off like a complete moron, and I ALWAYS try to spell things correctly, at least, even if I do tend to flout grammatical conventions.

I type things in just the way I hear them in my mind, the way I would say them out loud, and sometimes that means there are lots of CAPITALS and !!!! And sentence fragments.

And even though my thoughts are, technically, written, I still cannot call myself A Writer. It seems so ... scholarly, somehow, and maybe a little bit pretentious. And like I should be up in my garrett, shivering as I dip my fountain pen into a bottle of ink, and trying not to think about how I'm down to my last cracker and that all that stands between me and starvation is this brilliant manuscript, only my dumb sister throws it in the fireplace, and with my tears hardened like diamonds on my cheeks, I croak with my last breath, "I forgive you," and then I freeze to death.

See? THAT'S a writer.

Me? I'm just a girl with an interesting job, an extraordinary family, an uninhibited imagination, and an extensive vocabulary. But ... I'm not a writer.


Anonymous said...

Well, I still like to read what you write because I like the way you toss those words together. If words were food in your hands, you would be a world class chef!
(good thing you're not a chef, I know you can't cook!)

Dreamy said...

I'd have to disagree with you-- it's obvious you write because you feel compelled somehow to set words to screen/page and in doing so give life to a story, even if that story is just an anecdote of how you destroyed your shower... You don't have to be A WRITER! to be a writer. I know, let's take away your blog for a week or two... and see what happens. :) Keep up the good work April, I love reading your blog.

Marsha Brofka-Berends said...

Whether you call yourself a writer or not, you've written some very enjoyable blog posts.

It's interesting to think about how we put ourselves into noun categories when what we really need to do is think of ourselves in action categories--in which case you are a writer if you write.


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