18 July 2010

Writer vs. ...

I just finished reading a fantastic young adult fantasy series by Brandon Mull entitled Fablehaven.

If you haven't read it yet - you should.


The series is so incredibly engaging and entertaining.*  By the fifth and final book I was desperate to see how the story ended. Read late into the night until I couldn't read anymore, but tried to keep reading anyway because the story was so compelling. Love that! Brandon Mull - what a great writer.

However, as I was reading this series it set me to thinking about my own writing. Kind of this nagging annoying feeling in the back of my brain. A feeling that I intentionally ignored because I was too busy reading and enjoying to start worrying about my own neurotic stuff.

But now that I'm done reading the last book in the series, suddenly that feeling and all of its attendant thoughts and worries about my own writing that I had been squashing down and ignoring have bubbled right up to the surface of my consciousness and are shrieking "Hey! You! Dummy! Over here!!!!! Pay attention to us!!!!!"


I don't want to be thinking about this today.

Too late.

Here' s the thing...It's just like what I wrote about in my last post "Making art vs. ..." where I almost never refer to myself as "an artist," but instead as "someone who makes art."

I almost never refer to myself as "a writer" but will describe myself as "someone who writes."

Here's the other thing...I have absolutely no confidence in myself and my creative abilities. In my ability to produce something interesting, entertaining, insightful, engaging, thought-provoking, whatever...


Most of what I write...I always think that someone else could have written it better.

How stupid is that???

And yet here I am...Writing stuff here on the blog for the world to see (well, a really teeny tiny itty bitty fraction of a portion of the world..) and secretly (now not so secretly) working on finishing a novel (I already have 100+ pages) that may or may not ever get published. And outlining other stories in my head that I may or may not write.

So, does that make me a writer?

I don't know.

Here's what I do know: I write because I have to write. Because I am compelled to write.

Because I don't feel like myself when I'm not writing.

So, does that make me a writer?

Don't know.

Maybe I am just "someone who writes." Maybe I have not "claimed my inner writer." I don't know if I'm good or terrible or somewhere in the realm of just mediocre, but I do know that there is something inside of me determined to get out into the world through my writing.

So...guess I'll keep showing up each day to clacker away here on the laptop. And if that makes me a writer, then I guess I'm a writer. And if it just means that I'm someone who writes - I guess that's OK, too.

Maybe someday I'll even believe that what I've written is worthwhile.

*But, be warned, Mull has no compunction whatsoever about killing off interesting and favorite characters in the Fablehaven series. The books aren't all nice and happy ending-ish in that way. So if you're reading them with your kids - be prepared to have a conversation or maybe several about death and dying.

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