can i call myself a writer if i don't write?

typewriter keys.jpg

in the beginning, there were words.

I speak them, scribble them, devour them. I wonder at the variety and how context and intonation can completely alter the meaning of a word. Though I may not reveal all to anyone, I am never at a loss for words to express my thoughts and especially my feelings.

All of my life, at different junctures, I have been told “you should be a writer” or “you should write a book” Words meant to empower instead destroy. Being a writer is completely different than actually writing. You see, I have been calling myself a writer even more so than an artist but I haven’t been writing any more than I have been painting.

The thing to be became more important than actually doing the thing. The label meant more than doing the work of writing, of creating. It’s complicated to push against a patriarchal standard and expectation that what you do and what you produce defines you. I so want to simply be but one does not be a writer without writing.

So here I am, again, flinging words out onto a screen, out into the seemingly phantom world wide web. Does it even exist? Can I step into it and belong? Will my words find a home or mean anything in the endless ocean of words floating bits and bytes.

Deciding on the best way to release my words into the wild has been the biggest obstacle to overcome. it was a distraction of my own making. It was easier and felt safer to contemplate the where and the how of publishing online than to actually write a sentence. Countless nights I would lull myself to sleep chasing thoughts through my mind about blogging and whether or not it is dead, about posting on medium or my own site, about microblogging on instagram. Finally, the light revealed my antics for what they were.

Procrastination wrapped in possible good reasoning.

I finally called bullshit on myself. I told myself that it doesn’t matter where I post and whether it is prose or personal essay or poems and if it is good or bad and no matter what releasing the words is the work and it is time to be devoted to the work..

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
— andy warhol

There it is. I have been thinking about writing. And thinking about writing. and thinking about writing. It is time now to write, to simply let there be words.

I am curious what have you been thinking about doing? Isn’t it time to do it?

Tell me more.

Cynthia Lee2 Comments