It’s funny; when I started this site I had no intention of it being a platform where I release my inner motivational speaker. However sometimes a synapse fires and won’t go away until I address it. Sometimes when that happens it’s best to just go with the flow.
I’ve been thinking recently about how our society is quick to try and put us in neat little categories, little boxes, and keep us contained there. So many people are pressured into going along with it, never trying something or living they life they really want to.
That societal pressure, those boxes? It’s all bullshit.
Author Robert Fulghum wrote about this much more eloquently, pointing out that in our society we are identified by what we do for a living. We’re doctors, welders, garbagemen. But really we could just as easily ( and perhaps more accurately ) be identified by the things we do that define us outside the 9-5. Parent, painter, gardener. Fulghum said it’d be funny to identify by the thing he did the most, breathe. Or as he put it, being a “resperateur”.
The point being, YOU determine who you are, WHAT you are. No one else.
Years ago as I began writing more and putting it out on a site similar to this, I voiced doubts about calling myself a “writer.”
After all, a writer is someone who goes to the desk and writes for a living, right? They wake up, they write, and it pays the bills. Stephen King, James Patterson… those guys are writers. Someone on a self made WordPress soapbox writing for 12 of his friends to read it? Not so much. I was not worthy of the title, “writer.” ( Imagined in neon lights above my head and sighs of adoration as the word is said. )
Luckily, I’ve a friend who knows how deliver a swift kick right when it’s needed. His response has stuck with me for probably 10 years now:
I’ve paraphrased a little, but you get the point.
And he was right. While sitting around wondering if I was allowed to call myself a writer, I wasn’t doing the very thing a writer would do… WRITE!!
It didn’t happen overnight, but with practice and the desire to learn what it takes to write good ( haha! ) I gained confidence enough to put it out there for all to see.
But what’s more, I gained the confidence to say to the world, “THIS is what I am.”
I’m a writer.
What are you?