If I wanted a reason to stop dreaming of becoming a “real-life” published author then all I’d have to do is Google aspiring writers and I’d receive enough hits to discourage myself for three lifetimes. There are just that many of us out there. All with similar a M.O. A love of reading and writing with an unyielding urge to be published.
I try to avoid the dramatic realization that we all can’t be the next Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling etc. etc.
Did I always know I wanted to be a writer?
As a child if you asked me the ever so popular What do you want to be when you grow up? I’d probably answer along the lines of singer, actress, teacher or veterinarian. It just depended on the day. But guaranteed, writer wouldn’t have hit the radar.
My earliest memories of writing was junior high school. Each year without fail our English teachers (or as we called it back then Language Arts) would set countless assignments to write poetry. I remember enjoying poetry so much that at home I dedicated an entire duotang (yeah…do they even call them that now?) for my poems. The pretty pink notebook was aptly named Poems by Angie (I know…creative, right?) and stored snugly between my sweaters in my dresser drawer away from prying eyes. It wasn’t as though I was ashamed, just worried that my family and friends wouldn’t understand. God forbid anyone read my soul put to paper.
I wrote about love, or rather what I perceived love was. As I grew up into a fully fledged teenager in high school, my poems became more like rants. Often dark and written while trying to understand life and how I fit into it. It became my coping mechanism.
Years passed and poetry was replaced by journaling until I slowly forgot to put pen to paper and capture my thoughts. Writing was replaced with reading, a way to escape. Somewhere along the way I recalled I used to write poems, but it was a fleeting thought swept away with a gust of life’s turbulent winds.
Then at 26 I met someone who awoke the writer within.
At my boring, mundane job I met a woman that was a writer. She, unlike me, had comfortably put the title on herself. She wrote stories therefore she was a writer. Simple! Amazing! Sure I wrote some poems, but a writer? Whoa…I wasn’t that.
We hit it off immediately and I let it slip that maybe…perhaps…I’d like to write…something…someday. Or maybe just help her gather information for her next story…or something.
Being the amazing friend she turned out to be, she said in not so many words that I wasn’t going to just gather info for her story. I was going to co-author it with her. Again…whoa, I was no writer.
6 years later we never did finish that story but her kick in the ass attitude got me off and running on my own.
Although I am far from where I want to be, at least I can consider myself a writer. (Even if saying it still makes me feel a fraud.)
Most days I feel uncreative and picking up a pen (or keyboard) scares the hell out of me. Other days I shut up and get on with it (my own personal mantra).
So this is me. This is my blog.
A recovering closet writer for 20+ years.