“I am a writer.”
“I am a writer.”
“I am a writer.”
I AM A WRITER!
You might wonder why I keep repeating myself.
A few years ago, I attended a workshop with Laurie Scheer, writing instructor at UW Madison. On a blank sheet of paper she had us write the sentence, “I am a writer.” We could write it anywhere on the paper.
Take out a sheet of paper and write “I am a writer.”
Where did you write it?
Were you like most of us in the workshop? Did you write it on the first line, starting at the margin?
Yup, we wrote the sentence like we were taking notes. We figured that there was going to be more to write on the paper. It was, instead, our declaration of what we were doing.
To our surprise, she told us that where we wrote it and how we wrote it denoted how we think of ourselves as a writer.
Fast forward a year or so.
I stumbled upon Jeff Goins website and “The Writer’s Manifesto.” I subscribed to his newsletter and have found him to be a great inspiration. Jeff suggests that writers create their own manifesto.
“A manifesto is a great way to condense your message into a short, all-encompassing format. People can read it, print it, email it to their friends, or feed it to their dog. By reading it (if you’ve written it well), they get a fuller understanding of your core message, which you have may have been trying to communicate (through your blog, website, Twitter profile, etc.) for years.” – Jeff Goins.
Check out Goins, Writer
As 2016 rolled into sight, I decided that I needed to make some changes in life, to do something that would bring me back to writing. In actuality, it was my husband’s question that hit me square in the face. “How serious are you about this writing thing?”
Seriously, how serious? Very serious. I think about it all the time. I think about what I want to write, how I want to write, when I can write. BUT, what I wasn’t doing was writing.
While I was teaching high school, I wrote daily – even on the weekends. The June I retired, I had my normal teacher summer meltdown, except it was more intense. I sat and vegged in front of the television. I stared at the same page of the book I was trying to read for hours. I didn’t even get out of the house much.
THEN, my husband and I started talking about moving. I got wrapped up in moving. Once we got to our forever home, I got wrapped up in unpacking and dealing with hubby’s health issues. I set up my writing studio, but couldn’t get comfortable writing up there. I sat with my computer in my lap in the living room, but couldn’t get comfortable writing there.
BUT, in December, I read one of my incoming newsletters that talked about writers who don’t write because of fear. FEAR? I’m not afraid of writing. No, as one newsletter pointed out, many people are afraid of success.
Could I feel the potential fear of success?
A little door in my mind opened and kept prodding me to re-read Jeff’s “The Writer’s Manifesto.”
Jeff’s manifesto asks why we write. Why do I write?
WHY I WRITE?
Why I write has changed.
When I was teaching, I wrote to model the behavior I wanted my students to have. I wrote to show students examples of what I wanted, what I expected.
I wrote to explore the what ifs, the dark side of my mind, the worlds that I could create, or the relationships I would like to have.
I wrote by hand – I typed on the computer.
Suddenly, I found myself retired with all the time in the world to write, all the time in the world to gain proficiency with my violin, all the time in the world to clean and pack my house.
NONE OF IT GOT DONE!
I still dreamed, still thought about what I wanted to write, but now writing was intimidating. What if no one thought what I wrote was any good? What if no one wanted to publish anything I wrote?
Dreaming and not writing accomplishes nothing, explores nothing.
HERE IS MY MANIFESTO.
I will write. I will put the creations that my gray matter weaves onto “paper.” I will write each and every day, not because it will get published, but because I want to get my ideas out of my head and onto my “paper.”
I will continue to explore the wide variety of types of writing.
I will call my writings that I want to revise, rewrite, and edit – projects. In calling them projects, I can see a path with a finish line.
Whether I am writing to a prompt, writing a letter, or writing my thoughts and ideas, I am writing.