And you know how sometimes we want things to be true, but when we look at our daily lives, there is little there that actually fits those things?
I say I'm a writer because I like to write. I used to write stories when I was growing up. I studied English in college. I come up with ideas for stories, or pieces of stories, all the time.
But if I look at myself honestly, I haven't done a whole lot of writing- actually getting things on paper (or computer). Even when I do, it's usually a short incomplete piece. The beginnings of a scene that could be part of something beautiful... if I ever finished it, which I don't.
And now there's a sweet little baby who keeps me busy all day every day. What a marvelous excuse not to write!
Except that I want to write. I've had this dream for a long, long time now. I just keep pushing it off as something I'll get to when I have time.
Then a few weeks ago I went to a writer's group at my local library. It's on the calendar of events every month and always think, "I should go to that," but never do. This month was different. This month I went.
I left that meeting feeling inspired and with homework. Gasp! I plan on going to the next meeting and, by golly, I will not go without having done my homework.
Then in a semi-related message from the universe, I saw this short story contest on NPR. It intrigued me. I had ideas. I had... only a week before the deadline.
When I found myself saying, "I'm going to write this story even if I don't finish it on time," I knew I was on to something.
Remembering lots of authors' advice to get something, anything, even if it's crap, down on the page, I wrote a story from beginning to end on Monday. A full story.
And I didn't like it.
By Thursday I had a new idea, so I wrote another story from beginning to end. I liked it. I slept on it. I thought about it. I reread it. I still liked it. I tweaked it, had my husband play editor, and tweaked it some more.
Last night I sent it to NPR. I finished a story and I sent it to someone. It may never be heard or seen on NPR. That doesn't matter. What matters is, I'm earning my stripes.
I AM A WRITER. Hear me roar.