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.