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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Don't You Dare Call Me A Writer...Yet.

What the hell am I?

I must ask myself this question, at least, five times a day. I’m clearly having issues with calling myself a writer and telling the world what I’ve committed to do with my life. Maybe this would be better explained with a real life conversation that occurred between me and my husband.

Me: Honey, did you see the writing blog I’m doing with the girls?

Mr. Mel: Yeah, it looks great. I posted it on my Facebook so everyone can see.

Me: :::blank stare::::

Mr. Mel: Yeah, I was so excited for you that I wanted to share. It’s awesome.

Me: What...wait...you...wait. You did...wait...what?

Mr. Mel (starting to look scared): Well...is that a big deal?

Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN IS IT A BIG DEAL? OF COURSE IT’S A BIG DEAL, YOU IDIOT!! THEN THE WHOLE WORLD WILL KNOW!

Mr. Mel: Well, I think the world knows anyway, dear. You just put it on a blog...with your name...and your picture.

Me: THAT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT! I’M NOT BROADCASTING IT OVER FACEBOOK WHERE ALL OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE! DELETE IT! NOW!

Mr. Mel: Wait. You’re writing and that’s awesome, but you don’t want people to know?

Me: ARE YOU DELETING? OF COURSE PEOPLE CAN’T KNOW!! WHAT IF I SUCK AT IT OR FAIL AND THEN EVERYONE WILL KNOW!!

Mr. Mel: Honey...

Me: WHY IS IT STILL THERE?! DELETE!!

Things grow fuzzy in my recollection after this. I think there was more screaming on my part and even more confusion on my husbands. Yes, the Facebook post was eventually deleted.

I consider myself lucky that I have a husband that believes in me so much that he wants to share with everyone he knows that his wife is a writer. However, I’m not
a writer. Technically.

I touched on this in my bio actually. Having a career as a writer is so far out of the realm of what I anticipate, I don’t entertain the idea much. Yes, I write. I love it. It’s who I am. It’s who I’ve always been. I’m trying to make something out of that love inside me, but I don’t know where it will go from there. Why put myself out there, label and all, when I don’t even know what I’m doing? On the other hand, according to my husband, why shouldn’t I share?

Oh wait. Don’t answer that. I know the answer. My favorite f- word. Well, second.




F-A-I-L-E-D.

If I tell everyone I’m writing, that I’m a writer, I set myself up for all kinds of expectations. At this stage of the game, I think my very fragile ego wouldn’t be able to take disappointment. I’m a very sensitive, delicate flower (or so I’ve been told on a few occasions.)

Hypothetical: Let’s tell all my family and friends I’m dedicating my time to writing a novel and when I possibly have nothing to show for it some day, they can all conclude I’m a big, fat failure. They can look at me with a sad look and say, “So, are you still doing that writing thing?”

Can you see my hesitation?

Okay, so maybe I have a teeny problem with self-deprecation.

Then this other conversation happened yesterday.

Best Friend: So, what else have you been spending your time doing?

Me: Ohhhhhhhh. Nothing much.

Best Friend: Do I have to drag it out of you? Your husband told my husband you’re writing a book.

Me: Oh! Well...I...I...dunno.

Best Friend: Why didn’t you tell me?! This is fabulous! You’ve always had a gift for writing and I’m so glad you’re doing something with it.

Me: I...just...was nervous telling anyone.

Best Friend: Why?

Me: Because what if I fail?

Best Friend. What if you don’t?

Me: The chances of...

Best Friend: (interrupting) Mel...But what if you don’t?

Everyone needs a best friend like this.
















6 comments:

Becci said...

Mel, I love this. Like so much. I identify with this level, and origin, of fear. A lot.

BUT... to quote Never Been Kissed... dammmmmn girl, you are a writer.

You said it yourself, it's who you are. Even if (and I'm totally playing devil's advocate here, because this is not going to happen) this doesn't pan out on any professional or financial level, you'll still be a writer. For me, and for most writers, it's not something we do, it's something we are.

Also, I think we might be married to the same guy ;)

ladonna watkins said...

Great post. Too funny. Thanks for sharing.

Juliana said...

I know how you feel =)
I've debated for a long time about this same issue.
When people asked me what I did, I would say anything, except that I'm a writer.
It took me a long time and perhaps karma or some white light that cleared my thoughts, but now I admit it to whoever wants to know.
Yesterday, I went to the doctor (check up only, I'm ok, don't worry hehe) and she asked my profession (because you see, she didn't have any on her files) and I said it loud and proud: I'm a writer.
Here in Brazil writers are poor and dreamy people. Only Paulo Coelho is Brazilian and can live off writing. Btw, I'm hoping to be the second one LOL.
But I said it and I'm telling anyone who asks me now. I'm not advertising (well, maybe on Facebook), but I have a website, a blog, I'm on twitter and I do write all day. What am I?
A WRITER!
Hopefully, someday I'll be able to say I'm an author, but that's for another day.
I won't push you, cause it has to come naturally, but think about it. It's who you are. You can't be ashamed of what you do. And being a writer doesn't necessarily mean you have to be an author (hopefully, you'll be too).
Prepare your mind, because you're soul is already ready. AND SCREAM: I'M A WRITER!!!!!
Lol
Sorry for the long comment ;)

Amanda said...

oh my goodness, I would have panicked too had someone posted something about me writing on facebook. It's like my own little secret life.

Go husband for being so proud of you though!

Ang said...

Exactly, Mel. WHAT IF YOU DON'T?!

Fantastic post, sweets. Love it, and you, and you won't fail. Mark my words.

tonya said...

I love this post, Mel. You know I am in exactly the same boat. <3