I am a writer. I am a creative. I have vision. Those words don’t come off as easily as they should for me. Although I have always enjoyed putting my pen to paper and combing through my thoughts, referring to myself as such made me feel uneasy. Sometimes it still does.
For me, writing is like hearing the sound of your voice outside of your own head. How you sound surprises you. You’re not sure if you like it, or even fully identify with it. The sound of your pen can have that same effect. What part of me is creating these words? Who am I writing this as? Am I reflecting my authentic voice, or am I just projecting what it is that people want to hear from me? As with any craft, over time you hope to curate an authentic persona that exemplifies who you are at your core, and engages your audience in thought.
Some of my biggest female ideals when I was younger were writers. Who didn’t get lost in the world of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City? She was a writer for one of the most influential
newspapers in the country, finding seemingly endless inspiration between the racks at Bergdorf, good sex, and bad decision making. Within the same city but on an opposite spectrum, I fell in love with Brown Sugar’s Sidney Shaw. Sidney had the perfect job in hip hop, a great apartment, and ultimately a solid love story. While I was entranced by the two different glamorous lifestyles I continuously overlooked one value… THEY HAD TO KEEP WRITING!
Ira Glass once said,
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work…It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions… It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
So yes, I am a writer. Although in the beginning it’s easy to feel like a fraud amongst artists, continuing to practice hearing and listening to your voice and hones your message and is the key to creating to the best of your abilities.
What should you be doing to start honing in on your passion? Leave a comment, let me know.