First off, if you missed the message, the manic lady pin will soon be in the hands of Pamela Truesdale, through Random.org, since Gwynyfyr was too busy playing in the snow to pick. Congratulations Pamela and thank you all for participating. I’m going through my ridiculously large collection of funky jewelry so watch this space for further contests.
It is a new year, with new ambitions and a new outlook . I have been a writer most of my life, though as Alex said on the fabulous sit com TAXI, most of us see ourselves as anything but who we really want to be. In Alex’s case, he was the only taxi driver, everyone else was driving to support the life they thought they wanted. All too often I’ve heard “I’m going to write full time as soon as…” and the blank fills in with retirement, children growing up, other people’s dreams. And they put off writing until it becomes their dream instead of their reality.
Anyone who has followed this blog knows I’m a major fan of Kristen Lamb’s blog, never more so than now. She started out the year with an in our face blog about not defeating ourselves before we first put pen to paper (or pencil, or ink, or…you get it I’m sure) with Lies That Can Poison Your Dreams and followed up with three days of excellent writing tips, culminating in Talent is Cheaper than Table Salt, taken from a quote by Stephen King, which continues: “What separates the talented individual from the successful is a lot of hard work.” Her blog today is about stepping away from our comfort zones and putting our writing first. Not necessarily ahead of paying the bills, but definitely ahead of mindlessly watching television, or trolling the Internet for the latest non-news from Hollywood. Even more, it’s about mindset.
When someone asks “What do you do?” as in what is our major life focus, how many of us relate our current work position? Maybe we have a fascinating hobby we like to brag on. How often do unpublished or barely published writers declare, loud and proud, “I am a writer”? It’s marginally easier for other artists, since they can point to paintings, sculpture, wall art as proof of their abilities. Writers can only point to a computer screen or a loose stack of printed paper. Those who have reached the level of e-publishing can show a Kindle file, only to hear: “Can I find you in a book store?” Well, I do spend time wandering the aisles, imagining how MY books will look on the shelves, but I don’t think that’s the intent of the question. Nor is the question meant to put us on the spot, it’s based on decades of assumptions about our profession. Times and perceptions are changing, let’s change along with them.
So in this New Year, having survived a non-end of the world and fully prepared for any apocalypse that might occur, let’s all stand up and declare “I AM a Writer.” Yes, we are.