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On writing (finally)

April 17, 2010

I was going to write about 2.0’s vegetable strike, but after this morning, the only thing I want to write about him is an eBay description. So, just a few thoughts of mine on writing. Not the craft itself, but on the fact that I’m finally off my ass and doing it.

I’ve had the vague notion that I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 13 or so. I say vague because, until recently, I never really wrote. I would write a few pages of a story, but never complete it. I took rhet classes in college, and while I completed stories for class, I never completed a story because I wanted to.

After school, after I got married, I got a job as a media analyst. I would read newspaper articles and write short (35 words short) summaries of the articles. It was technically writing, but only just. There was lots of copy/paste involved. Not creatively taxing.

I would tell myself that I was a writer, and the only reason I wasn’t writing at home was because I spent my whole day in front of a computer. But that wasn’t really the reason. It was laziness, it was confidence, it was lack of momentum. Whatever you call it, I wasn’t a writer.

When my first son was born, I told myself that this was my impetus to really write. In fact, the day he was born, I signed a contract to write a role-playing supplement. I followed through, writing a short PDF-only book on the train to and from work.

When I quit to become a stay-at-home day, I thought this was my opportunity to write more. I had a professional credit under my belt, and I could write while the baby napped. Of course, when the baby napped, I napped. I hesitate to call it laziness, but there wasn’t the desperate need to write.

I went back to work part-time, and became a stereotype. I went back to my post-college job of being a waiter. Nothing wrong with being a waiter, and I was a good one. But I would still refer to myself as a writer, telling myself that I was only there to make a bit of money while my writing career emerged. Hard to do, of course, when you’re not writing.

The restaurant I was at closed down. Not wanting to wait tables again, I signed up with Demand Studios. If you’ve ever typed “How do I…” into Google, you’ve come across something produced by Demand. It’s not great literature, but I’m writing. I’m getting paid for it. Stephen King would say by that definition, I’m a successful writer. And I feel successful. I’d rather write $3 articles for Demand than have a variant of this conversation:

Me: I’m a writer.

Person who doesn’t realize I’m full of shit: Oh, what do you write?

Me: Oh, uh, a little bit of everything. Mostly online.

Message board posts don’t count.

And now, I’m writing. I’ve got fiction I’m working on, that I’m actually letting other people read. I got a freelance job, writing for a gaming company. And I’m writing this. It’s not much, but I’m writing. Because, finally, I’m a writer.

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3 Comments
  1. robyn permalink

    I’ll say you are!!!! I’ll even raise my glass of Vellum to you and wish you all the best!!! Keep writing…..pleeeeeeeze……

  2. Brandi permalink

    Good for you!!! I’m working on what direction I want to go right now, and I’m happy to see you going back to your dream. Our roommate is a writer, so if you need any other resources to get your work published on, let me know-she may have some insights/connections 🙂

  3. Geoff A. permalink

    I am happy for you old locker partner. I remember reading some of your stuff back in H.S. writing club and I always admired your talent. Keep it up!

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