Yes, You Are a Writer: A Message to the Seemingly Unattainable Goal + Why You Already Have Everything You Need to Attain It
I'm separating myself from the things I’ve written, occasionally allowing a scan through the words, picking up a few sentences here and there. Convincing myself that whatever emotions and experiences I was able to get through then, I wouldn’t be able too now.
In a way, the person who wrote that doesn’t feel like me. Sure, if I pushed myself to read through in full, I’d find a remarkable similarity, but at the present, I don’t. I sit at a distance, never allowing myself the pleasure of getting to know the person at the other end, and asking it, what would you like to do with this life of yours?
Or maybe I’ve told myself too many times that it’s an unattainable goal, to be a writer.
To think that your words will go beyond these pages. Will be printed, carried in burlap totes, through airport security, new love, marriages, breakups, loss, grief, and pain. Overseas, in worlds completely unlike my own — dare I say translated into a different language? And as the years go by, pulled from the back of the shelf at the library, revived and ready to serve those hands, eyes, and dreams to be a writer.
Unattainable, you tell yourself again and again.
I think of you, standing there with your many notebooks with short stories, scratched and scribbled out, and I want to be there with you. I want to help carry the weight of those words so you can be given the room you need to believe that they are worthy of being shared. That you will one day be standing in front of your editor, going over that book of yours one last time before it’s sent off to print.
Before it slips out of your hands and floods the world.
I want to be there to tell you already made it, as I see your eyes wander away from this moment and to the next project. The next book. The piece that’s really going to outshine the rest. That no matter how many books are sold, if any, or copies are made, you made it. Your voice, it’s out in the world having an impact, and I hope that one day, you too can feel that.
It’s late, the candle is burning low, and I know you still have those notebooks. Don’t you remember? With scratches and scribbles, short stories from an imagination that now seems so far away as you dig deeper into yourself, desperately trying to unveil the question of, what’s next, and how how could I ever keep up this role as a writer?
Those notebook, take them out of storage. Spread them across the floor. Go ahead, make a mess, let your thoughts get a little unruly. Dream a little bigger, setting aside the expectations of this evening. Crawl out of that place of uncertainty. Of questioning who you are at your core.
A change maker and rule breaker.
A person who cares deeply and without boundaries.
An honest and caring truth teller.
You are a writer, don’t you see it?
No, not there. Not in the print as you flip through the pages of your book, but there, in those scribbles. In those free-flowing thoughts. Those words you told yourself would never amount to anything. That’s where you can rest — settle a bit.
It’s always been there and it’s always in you. You may think you’ve lost it, for one reason or another, but it’s there, and who cares that you haven’t published anything for years, if at all! The only person you should be trying to convince that you are, that you can, that you have, is you.
We stand there, pouring over the words of Mary Oliver, E.B White, and Bob Winn. You, your backpack full of words, ideas, and a future you have yet to unfold, and me, standing in those same shoes, with that same curious look, gears always turning and mind never dull.
Writers, I think.
What a thing to be a writer —an expression of myself.
An extension of myself.
“I’m never going to leave you,” I think, as time sheds its layers and I’m here, writing this under a soft blanket, promising to remind you of that time, in the library, where you thought that one quick thought — I heard you.
I still hear you, and the answer is yes.
Yes, amongst so many things, you too are a writer.