Writer Reality Check

I love this blog by Kristen Lamb. So great. It’s all about things to expect when you become a writer, including not having anyone take you seriously. It also talked about how important it is to take the word “aspiring” out of your vocabulary (Don’t try. Just do.), and that it’s okay to spend all your time watching movies and reading books, because it’s called research. Brilliant. And inspirational.

However, at the beginning of the blog, she says she is talking to those people who just decide one day to become writers. And my first thought when reading was… Does one really just become a writer? Is that realistic? As if one day you wake up and say, “By Jove, I think I’ll write a NY Times best-seller today!”

I don’t think it works like that. Sure, you may suddenly feels the heavens align when you don’t have the urge to kill anyone after writing that one-page poem in your fifth grade unit on Edgar Allen Poe. You may realize you don’t have a complete aversion to creative writing like your friends do. Papers aren’t the devil.

But I definitely didn’t have that eureka moment when I realized that I wanted to be a writer. I think I just kinda became one. I started blogging in high school for the local paper, and it was a fun way to express myself. And then I kept it up in college because it was a good way to keep my parents in the loop.

Perhaps, though, there is a moment when you think, “What if I did this forever? What if this was my career?”

Now that is a moment. A clearly defined moment. For me, it came as I was sitting in the library last semester, writing a blog about growing up in the country, and I realized that I enjoyed blogging more than anything else I was doing all that semester. I enjoyed it even more than my film classes. And I had a pretty consistent following on my blog, so somebody had to enjoy what I was saying. Maybe that is translatable into longer fiction pieces?

I still don’t know if what I have to say is interesting or even if my particular “voice” (or whatever) is transferable to fiction. And I haven’t even finished a novel yet (though I’m still trying!). So I can’t necessarily just up and quit everything, graduate with a B.A. and move to Greenwich Village to become a self-involved, beatnik writer who meanders through Central Park without shoes, writing poetry for free to the tourists passing through. As much as I’d like to.

I guess I need to get a big-girl job, whatever that will be. And writing will be on the side.

For now.

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Filed under Future Plans, Musings, Senior Year, Writing a Novel

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