I have a confession to make, Cyberspace.
I am no longer a writer.
I know, I know. How dare I, the Smudgiest Thought, type those words in that precise order? How could I even think that I was not a writer? I’ve got the blog, I’ve got the notebooks, I’ve got the pens and pencils and all the office supplies needed for writing. I have every single thing necessary to be a writer.
Everything except the time to actually sit down and do it.
Here’s the thing: I’m too busy to write. I’d rather just have the title of writer than actually carve a giant chunk out of my busy bee day to sit down and drool as I stare at a blank screen.
You know how in all the writerly movies, the ‘writer’ just sort of sits down and begins to write as the filming cuts to a strange, slightly fragmented montage of them working, and you hear their ‘voice’ as they write down all the perfect dialogues and descriptions. Sure, there might be the occasional ‘no no’ face as they scratch out a previous sentence, but then they just keep going, and whoopsie-daisy! they have the perfect sentence structure again. And then, before you know it, they just wrote Pride and Prejudice in ten minutes.
That’s the kind of writer I want to be.
But, as with most things, reality slaps me hard across the face and says profoundly, “Dude. That ain’t ever gonna happen, yo.”
And if those words of wisdom don’t bring a delicate tear to your fantastical little heart, I don’t know what will.
Because, as a writer, I would much rather just have my book done than actually write it.
Which is strange, because, if I’m not mistaken, the definition of writer is
- a person who writes stories, books, or other stuff with words
(this definition can most definitely be trusted)
Notice the verb here guys: a person who writes…
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but from my knowledgeable point of view (and I totally did not just completely hash out that word and hope autocorrect could change it [totally]) it would appear that writes is in present tense.
Meaning writers write.
Or, as some wise old folks might say, write now.
Get it? Cause you should be writing right now? Write now? Get it?
Oh, never mind.
Anyway, a writer is an individual who writes. Right now. At this very moment.
An author on the other hand…
- One who has written stories, books, or other wordy stuff
Ah. See there? That’s what I want. I want to be an author.
Or, in other words, I want to have written a book, rather than force myself to do so right now, in this precise moment.
But do you see that word right there? Written.
Strange how smacking off an e and slapping on a ten completely transforms that little word.
See, there’s something about being an author that is so blatantly obvious, most people tend to overlook it.
You cannot be an author, without first being a writer.
And now you’re probably thinking, “Wow. Kenzie left over Christmas and returned without a brain.”
To which I say, “I’ve never had a brain.”
But that is beside the point.
The point is this:
You cannot have written, without first writing.
Wow. So poetic. So beautiful.
Do you see what I did there? I just rearranged what it means to be a writer and what it means to be an author with their respective tenses.
In order to be a writer, we must write right now, which is something that I have recently been failing to do.
I’d much rather dream about the day that I write my book, you know? I’d much rather have written it already.
But I will never ever ever become an author if I am not at first a writer. If I do not choose–right here, right now–to write, I will never have written.
And this, dear cyborg, is a very depressing thought. I mean, let’s say you haven’t written in weeks. The Christmas season was just way too hectic, and now you have no idea how to continue on with your story. It feels disjointed, your characters feel flat, and somehow your book’s sweet, innocent tone has turned into a paranormal horror story.
It’s like when you wake up from a delicious dream because of some stupid person out front honking their car horn at five in the morning, and then, no matter what you do, you cannot return to that peaceful dreamland you had just been wrapped up in.
There is just no way to return to the groove of things.
You, sir, have officially lost your groove.
But never you fear, my metallic friend, because I am here with a list that is proven to help you stop obsessing over being an author, and start being a writer again!
I like to call it
How To Keep Writing After An Extremely Long Writing Hiatus (in one easy step)
Would you like to take a guess as to what that one easy step is?
That’s correct, Timmy.
Step Number One: WRITE.
Ignore the fact that your story stinks. Ignore the fact that your strong, sassy character is bawling in the corner of the room with a hunk of chocolate. Ignore the fact that your meek character is the one that made them cry in the first place, and the murderer gave them the chocolate slab.
Ignore every single instinct that is telling you that you’re writing complete and utter garbage, and WRITE.
There will be time for editing later. Right now, your main goal is to get back into your writing voice. And who knows? Maybe these weird, disjointed pieces will later string together perfectly and evolve into some epic master plot.
But that doesn’t matter, because even if you have to delete every single thing you write today tomorrow, you still wrote, and chances are, with a bit of plodding around in the darkness (or rather, stumbling along as you string strange, seemingly meaningless words together), you’ll soon hear the rhythm start to beat in your eardrums.
And then you’ll start to bob your head.
And soon enough, you’ll be dancing.
Cause you just found your writing groove, yo.
So forget the fact that you haven’t written in ages and just write. Pretend like whatever you’re writing is great.
Because, in all actuality, it probably is. This is a first draft. There are going to be mistakes. There are going to be inconsistencies. There are going to be problems, plot-holes, tone-changes, and the occasional slab of chocolate.
That isn’t what you’re supposed to worry about right now. Right now, you are not an author. You are a writer.
So–right here, right now–write.
Write until your fingers go numb.
Write until your head explodes (except don’t do that).
Because that is what writers do.
Write here. Write now.
And that’s it for today, Cyberspace! What do you think? Was this a good kick-start to the New Year? How has your writing life been going? Have you been focusing on being a writer, or an author? Have you taken a giant writing hiatus and no longer know how to function as a writer? Is the keyboard malfunctioning? Are your fingers numb? (mine are) Are you a writer? Tell me all the writerly things down below!