Confession: I am not a writer

I am not a writer because I haven’t been writing.

Oh, I’ve been doing a lot of writing-related stuff. I’ve been editing and publishing. I’ve been brainstorming and networking. I’ve been… uh, scrubbing the toilet. Which doesn’t sound like a writing-related activity, but it is, I swear, not that it matters because I’m not a writer anyway.

Because I haven’t been writing.

I don’t like to talk about it. I tend to be hard on writers — ESPECIALLY myself — who don’t write. There are a ton of reasons, motivations, justifications, excuses, lies, and damn lies why writers can’t write. Some of the reasons are more valid than others. Heck, even some of the damn lies are pretty good — we’re writers, after all. But in the end, if I don’t write… well, I think I’m not a writer.

I’m not depressed, and I’m not sick. I don’t have any greater-than-usual stresses in my life. I’m not out of ideas. (Oh geez, not even close!) I don’t have writer’s block. And I DO have deadlines. I haven’t broken my fingers or crashed my hard drive. (Knock on wood with my non-broken but non-writing fingers.) I’m not burned out. I don’t NOT want to write. I don’t want any there-theres or condolences. I don’t have any good excuses or bad lies. I’m just… not writing.

Or I should say I haven’t been writing. See, it’s been so long, I forgot how to do verb tenses.

I AM writing again now, finally, which is the only reason I can even write this post. I want to do a little happy dance but I’m keeping my fingers on the keyboard. I just thought I should put this out there in case someone else is not writing or not doing whatever your “thing” is and so feeling like a fraud.

I don’t have any three bullet point list of how to write again. I just… started writing. So now I’m a writer. Phew. It was just that easy. (And maybe just that hard?)

If you’re having trouble writing, put some words in the comment box. Maybe that’ll get you going again. And if you’ve had trouble writing — past tense — please feel free to share how you got out of it. Maybe it’ll help someone else.

11 thoughts on “Confession: I am not a writer

  1. I resemble this post. That’s all I have. For me, when I’m not writing, in order to get to writing it just means that not writing becomes more painful than writing. And if you can unscramble this sentence let me know because it is still chaos in my head. 🙂

    • I’m a terrible person when I’m not writing. I’m going to try a new schedule where I write FIRST. At least get SOMEthing on the page. Usually I prefer to write at night, but stuff’s been getting away from me. So, words first. I kinda like your chaos! 🙂

  2. This post was extremely touching to me because I think of you as a successful writer, successful in completing novels but also successful in actually writing words on paper. It turns out you are a human being like the rest of us 🙂 Glad you found your ways back to the keys.

  3. I recommend moving locations- I tend to write really well with my friends around or at the library. Another thing I do is go to the Art Museum. Something about the visual arts shakes loose my brain. 🙂

    • I took my netbook outside today and had some raunchy werewolf sex. It felt pretty damn good. Love the idea for the museum. I wonder how the Chinese Garden would feel about me as a semi-permanent fixture. I think it’d be great to write there.

  4. I didn’t write for a couple months, but I had a doctor’s note — back to back eye surgeries left me temporarily blind. I wrote a lot in advance and had a friend post everything to keep the blog going while I healed.

    Coming back after weeks of not writing and months of being out of work was tough at first; I was already frustrated from being housebound and useless. I think I was worried I’d lost my mojo, too. The only way I know to kick writer’s block butt is to write, so I just jumped in and started writing a new story I’d been thinking about while I was recovering. I gave myself carte blanche to write absolutely crap, too. I also got back to writing in my personal journal in the morning to get into the writing place in my head so that when I did go to the computer I was prepped mentally.

    After a month of that I felt ready to go pro again, pitched and landed a new job, and have been writing daily ever since.

    • Even with the word “temporary” in front, blind is very scary. I’m glad you’re healed up. And yay for the daily words! I need to make sure that happens, no matter what.

  5. Pingback: “Making it” | See Jane Publish


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