This morning I told a barista that I was a writer. He was kind of giddy and riding the high of talking to a professional graphic designer, which is what he wants to be, and I commented that I understood that feeling of possibility that comes from talking to someone who is established in your chosen field. He asked if I was a graphic designer too, and I said ‘no, I’m a writer.’
It came out so timidly that I had to repeat it, louder this time, which probably garnered me some looks from the Lazing About In Borrowed Armchairs Reading Papers set. I don’t know if it actually did, but the thought that it might’ve made me feel uncomfortable, like I’d shown up naked. I left quickly after that and spent a few moments in my car taking deep breaths and coming to terms with the fact that I had just told a complete stranger that I wrote things.
That’s all it means though, right? I write things. I write things all the time. I even finish things sometimes, which I have the rejection slips to show for. So I’m a writer. Yet it still feels fake when I say it, because I don’t have the validation of a publishing credit, my FBHS senior class paper aside. It still feels a bit like an excuse when it comes out. That’s a personal thing, I know. I have friends who hate the word ‘aspiring’, because to them aspiring means that you never actually put words to paper–or Scrivener, or whatever kids put words to these days–but to me aspiring feels like a shield. Don’t expect too much of me, it says. All these words amount to half things, it says, they’re unreal. That’s a pretty terrible attitude.
It’s time I started thinking more highly of myself. If I focus I can probably think this accomplished me into being. (Hell, it worked with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. The universe did that just for me, don’t you know?) I’m working on being published, but that work is writing. I write things. I’m a writer. There, that wasn’t so hard.
*takes my chai and runs*