When do I get to call myself a writer? Do you have to be published, have a certain # of views? Or do I just start calling myself that and see what happens. What do you do? I’m a writer. Sounds so much better than “I work in finance”. It gives me so much more pride to say that than to say anything about my current actual job.
If I truly am a writer, do I need to be able to make up a story? Do I need to test myself, create characters or some type of theme that doesn’t pull from my life experiences. Do I need to stop writing about what I know and write about something completely outside of myself.
Do I need to write a 300 page book to call myself a writer? Am I simply a blogger and not a true writer? Blogger has such negative feel to it, but a writer, that has some glamour to it! I sip whisky and think about how the English language is so complex and about adding lots of adjectives to a sentence.
I carry lots of names. Dad, brother, son, husband, Shark (I’ll tell that story another day), Uncle, God Father, friend. But, none of those I earned. I might consider myself decent at some of them, but I didn’t earn any of those on my own. This writing thing though, I started on my own. I just wanted to get my voice out there however I could. I started writing stories that I enjoyed. Sure lots of the stories now are family and lovey dovey stories and “Always smile” type stuff, because that’s my voice now. But, I have lots more to say.
I feel like I just said my first words. I’m just starting to put words together. Which, I am sure you can tell with some of the awful grammatical errors I make. I try to go back and fix them, but, sometimes I think that screwing up a word is what makes the story MINE. The words are mine, the errors are mine, so when I go back and read a story I like seeing those. “What was I thinking here? How did I miss an entire word in this sentence?”
So, as I grow up in writing, as I try new things I hope you will come with me for the ride, Cut me a little slack as I grow here. You weren’t a perfect Mom when you first took that kid home. But you are a better person for struggling a bit in the beginning. You learned all the tricks. Right now, I’m a puppy, a writer who sometimes can catch the Frisbee, but lots of times I’m still peeing on the rug.
It feels really good to find something for myself. I love being a Dad, husband, and all those other names I was given. I work hard at them, but being a writer is something completely for myself. So, next time you see me, or you introduce me to someone, maybe say “That’s Mark, he’s a writer”. It’s happened to me a couple of times when I am at my daughters games or events where someone will come up and say “I love reading your stuff” and I blush and thank them, but it really gives me sense of pride to be known for that.
I hope you have a passion, I hope there is something that lifts you up off the ground, makes you smile just thinking about it. Writing has done that for me. It changes my mood when I find an angle in a story that I couldn’t connect before.
I’ve done a few little changes in my life the last year to see what moves me. Random stuff, like making candles, or playing the guitar, stuff that is just mine. The older my kids get, the less and less they need me. I didn’t or don’t want to be that parent that lives only for their kids. I want to have my own interests. If they end up enjoying something I’ve done than all the better, but I started doing it JUST FOR ME. I find I am actually a better person because of it. My father in law has done this for years. Once a week he goes out with his friends and plays guitar. Has a few glasses of wine or whatever and just relaxes. It is completely for him. And it is perfectly selfish. It’s the kind of selfish that makes all your other time more valuable with your tribe.
Keep searching for your passion. Keep growing as a person. When they write your story down at the end of this ride what will yours say? Earn your story.
Mark “The Storyteller” or
Mark “Prose King”
Or maybe just “The Typewriter”
You pick I guess