The Struggle is Real
|There really is a Star Wars meme for everything...|
Am I really a writer?
Yeah, this is going to be one of those honest, personal posts.
I think about this a lot. What do I do that makes me a writer? Sure, I write unpaid movie reviews. and before you say it: yes, I know getting paid isn't really the mark of a writer, despite what my entire family and everyone else I've ever met who wasn't some kind of artist says. I enjoy writing the movie reviews, and I put a good amount of effort and creativity into them, so there must be something there, but that's really it. I mean, yeah, there's this blog, but in the last seven or eight months it's basically just become a repost site for the movie reviews. Yeah, there are the book reviews, but I completely half-ass those because really, who am I to criticize the work of a writer who has actually finished a novel? Not counting the reviews, I haven't finished a single writing project since 2009, and even that was just a 19-page story that was my senior thesis I had no choice but to finish if I ever wanted to graduate.
And let's let this thing sink in for a minute: that 19-page story is the single longest thing I've ever actually finished.
Yeah, I did that short story series almost three years ago now, but those were all less than ten pages and, while I might have finished ten of them, I had plotted out twenty and I just dropped the ball halfway through the story. And honestly, most of that was to impress a girl with my creativity anyway. So again, I have to ask, what makes me a writer? If I even am one anymore, that is.
I tried doing NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month, wherein one tries to write a 50,000-word novel over the course of November, for those of you who might not know) for the second time this year. Last year, I got as far as a plot and never actually put a word down on paper. This year, I managed approximately 5,600 words, as you can see by the counter on the side of the blog, and dropped it. I only even managed that much because I was working at a temp assignment where I had a LOT of free time (much like how I'm writing this right now, coincidentally), and the drop hit as soon as that assignment ended and I was left to spend my days at home watching TV and movies and reading comics instead of writing.
Does that make me a writer? Because it doesn't sound like it to me.
I don't know. I have no shortage of story ideas, but I never seem to take them anywhere. I watch friends I've known for years do things with their writing, find outlets, get published, whatever; I'm happy for them, and yes, even jealous, but it doesn't push me to follow their lead. I've even let opportunities pass me by because I just didn't feel like writing what I needed to write. For years I've said that all I've been waiting for is a story I really want to tell, and that's when I'll get into high gear and write. But I've been saying that for well over a decade now. How long does that get to be something I mean before it turns into just an excuse? I'm not getting any younger, you know, which is something I've become painfully aware of lately. So am I really a writer?
The truth is I don't think I know anymore.
So yeah, the struggle is real.