“So, you’re a writer?” An old friend of mine asked me this question recently. My immediate and unthinking response was, “Unpublished.” I said it like it was some sort of apology. To whom I was apologizing, I will never know. Maybe myself.
What on earth possess’ writers to say that?
There is no need to justify the reason we write. Yet, somehow we feel compelled to do so.
So we explain, or try to explain, what we are writing, what our plans are. Or we simply don’t discuss it all. We keep it to ourselves, hidden from our family and our peers. It’s much easier that way–if we fail, no one will ever know.
I’ve seen the sideways glance, the cinched eyebrows, looks of confusion, the blank stare. Get enough of those looks and it will either drive you to push harder, and PROVE THEM WRONG–or it will drive you to shut your mouth.
First, don’t push harder to prove someone wrong. If people aren’t supportive, it’s their issue, not yours. Push harder because YOU are working toward your goals. Second, writers don’t shut their mouths. The inner workings of our minds are constantly talking, constantly creating, and constantly thinking. Don’t hide what makes you different–bask in it.
If we don’t see ourselves as writers–no one will. We have to take ourselves seriously if we expect anyone else to. And part of that is working on our craft. Everyday. The other part– acknowledging not only to yourself, but to everyone else, that yes, you are a writer.
You chose this path. It’s time to walk it.