Everyday at 2pm my alarm pops up on my phone. “Write in my blog” it says. Words I wrote years ago in an effort to try and write everyday. I click “Completed” with a pang of guilt, but the only person I am lying to when I proclaim to have finished the task, is myself. It has been years since I have posted in my blog. I have considered getting rid of the daily reminder, but that feels somehow even worse. It is as though I know I need the daily sting of letting myself down, knowing if I no longer have that I risk stopping forever.
But am I still a writer anymore? This thing I identified as, in my core, now feels fraudulent. Maybe someone never stops being a writer if they ever wrote something they felt mattered. If Jane Austen had stopped writing later in life would we say she is no longer a writer? What she created before still exists, and still came from her. I am not comparing myself to Jane Austen, I only dream of writing things that matter as much as her work. She knows the feeling of poring a full story from her mind and completing the elusive task of committing it to a page. She is a writer in our cannon. We teach her and learn her name and she is forever defined as a writer. So maybe if you write, or have written, you always get to identify that way.
I’m sure there is a much deeper and more impassioned debate to be had about the difference between a published novelist and the long absent blogger. There is a canyon of disparity between them. I feel inadequate when I think of how much I could do and haven’t done. If I had written even every week these past few years, where would my writing be?
I feel clunky and out of practice. I feel like an imposter sitting back at a keyboard and stringing together words.
But I know I have to restart sometime. I cannot live my life not writing, it would be the one thing I would look back on and know I let myself down.
I don’t need to become Jane Austen to feel like my writing was important. It is important to me to express myself through this medium. It is like a first language or getting on a bike after years of not riding. My body and mind still know exactly what to do.
I could say I stopped because I lost my mother. It’s partially true. She was my driving force, my cheerleader, my editor, toughest critic and biggest fan. With her gone I consider that I may only be writing for myself and the people I nudge into reading my posts. But I am ready for that. When she first passed away, nothing was enough to fill her void. Now, I am enough alone. The void is still there, but I cannot use it as an excuse anymore because I know now that I know how to exist and thrive in its presence.
I stopped writing because my mother died. I stayed away from writing because of fear. I need to face that head on or risk missing out on the thing I love most. Nothing is in my way except for myself; her I can handle.
It’s after 2pm today, so I had already brushed off and lied to my own alarm. But I will write something again tomorrow before 2, so when it lights up my screen, I can be honest for the first time in a long time.
4 thoughts on “A Writer?”
I’m glad you’re writing again! Life happens. Now you’ve got the room to write again. I will always be an improv comedian even though I walked away from my last troupe.
I relate to this a lot. I think about the times I could’ve wrote and I didn’t and it’s not a ncie feeling but writing is my love. I love to write, I may struggle and not be the best but I enjoy it so much. Sometimes I I even find myself noting down words or sentences I’ve made up and I make a collection later to just see what I have.. it’s never something long and story worthy but it’s still me engaging with my love in the smallest way. I think thE most important thing to remember is that you’re doing it for urself cos you love it 🙂
I love this, thank you
You write all the time. Maybe not on this blog. But messages of love and hope and strength to all of us lucky enough to be around you. Still counts 💛