I ran quite a few races before I considered myself a runner because the image I had of a runner did not match how I saw myself. Eventually, I made up my mind that I ran and, therefore, I was a runner. I no longer run but hope to take that up one day again. I’m in a similar situation now, where I’ve been doing these almost daily writing exercises, and yet I by no means consider myself a writer. I think part of the reason is that there is a certain stigma to calling yourself “a writer.” In Los Angeles, the people who call themselves “writers” are about a dime a dozen and are often looked down upon as not having a real career and hopelessly dreaming of making it big. No one will think that running is your career if you tell them you’re a runner, but tell them you’re a writer, and they’ll think that’s your career, and you’re probably starving. So how do you communicate that you love to write without giving the wrong impression? I write in this blog, but can I consider myself a blogger even though I practically have no readers? Also, a blogger label is akin to being a YouTuber.
I came across a video of Margaret Atwood in which she discussed writing. How if you want to write well, you just need to keep writing. Writing should be seen as a vocation and not a career choice. Our ability to write improves with age because we have much more life experiences when we’re older. It was refreshing to hear her views on writing because it gives me the inspiration to continue writing solely for the joy it brings me.
I haven’t written anything remarkable, but I hope to one day. I don’t make this statement as a form of self-deprecation, but rather an acknowledgment that so far, I have only expressed the random things that come into my mind without any regard to any possible audience. However, in my eventual pursuit of writing something noteworthy, I hope to immerse myself in the writing of others. So I am renewing my goal of reading 26 books this year. I am slightly behind already, so I need to finish my second book this week and catch up.