Why do I want to be a writer?
I have had this question asked of me a time or two since I “came out” as a writer. I put it like that because, for as long as I have been writing, I spent years being too scared to share my work with anyone but having this burning fire inside me that won’t die out. The thing about being an artist with a talent in any artform is that there is always nerves and anxiety. There is fear and doubt. Is it good enough? Will anyone like what I do? Why would anyone want to read what I write? How can I be as good as the published authors? Lately, I have been on a mission to combat these niggly and pesky doubts lingering inside. All those published authors, they started with that first sentence somewhere too once.
To answer that question – I don’t want to be a writer, I AM a writer. I have been since I was in primary school and realised there were stories in my head that wanted out. I even have the documented evidence (thanks, Mum, for saving my stories written in Year 3 and showing everyone when I’m in my 30s!) I have battled my way through some tough times in life. My health has forever been a pain the bum and not being particularly kind to me of late. Now, I want to do what I have always had a calling to do, and I want to share that. I don’t want to stifle it anymore.
Last year, I commenced my Masters of Arts (Writing). I took a leap into the deep end, and I went in with much trepidation and that ever-present fear that my writing wouldn’t be good enough to share. Not only have these studies forced my hand at sharing my work, I have met some incredible, beautiful and talented fellow-writers along the way who have been drifting in the same boat as I have. My advice would be this: If you feel you want to write, if you have a story to tell, do it! It doesn’t matter what it is, just don’t hold back. Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind said, “Tomorrow is another day”. Yes, it is, but who of us are ever guaranteed tomorrow?
With just four units left of my Masters, I am coming away with three “work-in-progress” novels flitting around in my brain. I have characters living in there that often have a louder voice than I do, and they feel like old friends. I can rarely have a shower or go shopping or cook a meal without story ideas jumping into my head. I can’t randomly hunt on Google without getting sidetracked on paths of research. I have worn out a hard drive, a keyboard, and a mousepad on my old laptop. My Favourites folder is full of links of things I want to write about “some day”.
“Tomorrow” and “some day” are TODAY. Today, I’m writing my first ever official blog post. Today I am posting it on my writer’s website. Today I’m putting in writing that I have three unfinished novels to document that they need to be finished. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, and I don’t know what will happen some day. But I know I can write, and I know I have stories that want to be written. I’m doing this. The only person who can stop me is me.
To finish up, I am once again going to quote the amazing Margaret Mitchell’s penned words in Gone with the Wind: “It was better to know the worst than to wonder.”