My name is Estrella and I am a writer

There’s the usual hell us writers can put ourselves through with absolutely no outside help, like contemplating and driving ourselves nuts with thoughts and questions like:
“Am I a writer if I never had anything published? If my notebook is the only one who knows my stories and even that is cringing at the thought of my calling myself a writer?
Am I a writer if I had only a couple of fiction pieces, maybe a poem or two published in online magazines and not in print?
Am I a real writer if I only have one story in print?”.

And then there’s the sentence “I am a writer.” which, after it’s taken us ages to be able to utter semi-clearly and at an audible decibel level in the presence of people, can immediately become a deadly weapon in case those particular people don’t get it.

We all write for different reasons. We write to listen, to speak up, to portray, to keep things to ourselves, to explain, to understand, to find ourselves.
We write to question, to answer, to let ourselves go, to be ourselves, to be someone different, to escape, to get close.
We write to rediscover the obvious or to surprise even ourselves with our words, to build up walls and to break down barriers.

One word can change things. One sentence can bring people together. One story can make us believe we’re something more. One poem can set a whole world of feelings free.

So when some people don’t get it, and especially when the people closest to us, whose opinions matter far more than they themselves probably know, fall short on emotional support and lack understanding it can feel like one of the worst things that could happen to us writers.

I know first-hand how awful it can feel. Either coming from acquaintances or those close to me.
I dealt with it just last week when I ran into someone and as we talked for a bit I asked, because she has connections all over the place, if she knew of any writing jobs (looking to add something closer to home to my existing online writing jobs). Her immediate (somewhat scandalized?) question was “But why don’t you look for a real job?! Look, I know this assistant manager position at…” that’s where I began nodding and inserting a “Yeah, sure.” when it felt appropriate to do so while thinking of how much her reaction and question stung… It still does a little actually.

So yes, I know how awful the lack of support can feel. I know how lonely it can feel.
And yet, how fulfilling it is while I’m writing, while I’m throwing my best, most creative self at it.
I’m writing for myself and I’m keeping at it because it’s the thing I can’t not do. Because it’s what I can’t imagine my life without. Because it’s what keeps me grounded and makes me feel safe. (Because before writing down the previous sentence I haven’t even truly realized that writing makes me feel safe.)

Because I am a writer.

 

PS: My friend j wrote such an eloquent post about this exact (real) worst thing, which prompted my blog post. Head on over and read it.

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26 Responses to “My name is Estrella and I am a writer”

  1. Well said.
    If I don’t write I’ll be violently ill (and I was, several times)
    Also, a so-called ‘real’ job is not recession proof.

  2. Oh Estrella, I know just how you feel – except for the fact that I have one of those “real jobs” that keeps me from doing what I want to do – Just Write – all the time. My question to those people is: “Why wouldn’t anyone do what they Want to do?” or “Why would anyone do something they don’t enjoy doing?”.

    Your words have brought about a world of feelings and insiration for me, enough that I believe I’ll write my own post on the subject, (pointing to yours of course). I know I won’t be able to post it soon as this is my last week of work before a two week vaction – WOOHOO! But, since the hubby and sons are going to visit his side of the family in PA for a few days before Christmas I have planned on doing nothing but write during at leat a couple of those days so hopefully I can have the post up then.

    Thank you for this – I needed it!

    • Deanna, I can’t wait to hear your own thoughts, to read your own post on the subject. Hope you’ll get plenty of time to read now before the holidays.
      Thank you for coming over to read my post, you’re such a joy to have visit my blog :)

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