I have always had trouble proclaiming things about myself. When I was in my twenties, I was afraid to call myself a feminist for fear that some true feminist would declare my failure to earn that title. Thirty years later, I laugh at the idea that there is one way to be a feminist; at the idea that some one else could tell me whether or not I am, or was, a feminist. In the same way, I have had trouble labelling myself a Writer.
I do a lot of writing for work. I do research on environmental issues and write reports on my findings and recommendations. These reports are distributed widely within a very small circle of people who work on, or care about, these issues. They are posted on websites. I am actually quite prolific in my field; I have written about 25 of these reports over the years. I have been told that I write well; that I have a way of writing about technical and policy issues that makes them accessible to decision-makers. BUT I still don’t think of myself as a Writer. I think of myself as a policy analyst, an environmental health expert, as someone who does a lot of writing for her work.
For me, the word Writer means something more than what I do. I think of a Writer the way I think of an Artist; as someone born with some innate talent that cannot be gained with training or experience. In my mind, a Writer is someone who writes novels, poetry or inspirational books; someone who marries imagination, heart and soul with words to create magic on paper. To me the title, Writer, has been too sacred, too scary to claim for myself. I think I am afraid of being found wanting at something that is too important to me.
But something has happened to me over the 16 months in which I have written these weekly posts. Little by little I have felt the inner Writer emerging. Some weeks, I have written from the heart to say what I need to say. Other weeks, I have written from a place of finding a small truth deep within myself. And some weeks, I have written with no agenda, for the pure pleasure of writing. And somewhere in this process, I realized that I AM a Writer.
I am someone who lives through words; someone who processes the world with words; someone who understands her life by writing. I am someone who loves the written word. I am someone who loves to write. And perhaps that is what it actually means to be a Writer.
- Don’t Let Anybody Squash You (fillingspaces.wordpress.com)
- The’ Old Letter’ and the ‘New letter’ (mother1spiritoftruth.wordpress.com)
- Why Writers Shouldn’t Read Reviews (jmdattilo.wordpress.com)
- Hate it when my boyfriend reads other people’s novels – feels like he’s cheating on me! (amayaellman.wordpress.com)
- It has never got easier (lettersofnote.com)
- Tricking writer’s block (procrastinationdiaries.wordpress.com)
- Blogging Sisterhood (inthesetimes.com)
- All The Ways I’m Not A ‘Real Feminist’ (thegloss.com)