I’ve always loved to write. I’ve always loved words, and vocabulary, and grammar, and descriptive phrases. I’ve always loved using language to create images. When I was younger, I assumed that I could never be a writer because I could never come up with a decent plot. I thought that writing had to include making up an interesting story. Fortunately, once I had some more life experiences under my belt, I realized that there’s plenty of “stuff” to write about all around me – the world is full of interesting stories that are already there, just waiting to be written.
And so I began blogging, first on my own site and later on an actual website. I even wrote a book manuscript based on my experiences on match.com. And yet, I still felt like just a dabbler, not a “real” writer. When I got an actual paying gig writing a monthly newspaper column, I felt a little more like a real writer. But it wasn’t until just today when something happened that made me realize that I am, in fact, a writer: I was feeling overworked and overwhelmed and I needed to take a break from the 16 different projects I was working on, and all I could think was, “I need to sit down and write for a few minutes.”
That’s my stress relief: writing. When I’m totally stressed out and I’m losing my mind and I don’t know what else to do, I write. That’s what makes me a writer: A writer writes. Just like in A Chorus Line, when Cassie is begging for a job dancing in the chorus, even though she knows she’s much better than that, and she tries to explain how she is driven to dance: “All I ever needed was the music, and the mirror, and the chance to dance…” (The musical theater nerds among you just read that as “..and the chaaaaaaaaaance…to daaaaaaaaaance!”, didn’t you. Yes, yes, you did. I bet you even sang it out loud. That’s okay, so did I.) All I need is the paper and the pen, or the computer and the blank Word document, and the chance to write! I don’t simply want to write, I need to write. I need to express myself through the written word like dancers need to dance, like children need to play, like birds need to fly. Writing is such a part of me that when I can’t do it, I’m not me.
I’m a writer. A writer writes.
Whew, I feel much better now.