Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's in a Title?

Is it really that unbelievable that little ol’ me could write a novel?  When people first heard, several years ago, that I was working a book, they couldn’t believe it.  Responses ran the gamut.  Some said, really? (Like it was totally unbelievable) or get out— you?  While others gave me unimaginable support and unconditional faith in what I was doing.  Still in the back of my mind, I didn’t know what to expect.

It wasn’t until I was half way through my second novel, did I start letting others see my work.  Don’t get me wrong, I have my faithful beta readers that have seen everything I have ever written.  But when I started letting more people read my work, I started to gain an understanding of who I was.   Their responses became the catalyst that kept me going.  Because let’s face it, we all need some cheerleaders in our lives. 
Now that I have two complete novels each with over 85,000 words and four more WIP’s (work-in-progress), I am still trying to figure out and understand what it is like to consider myself a writer— unpublished or otherwise.

I have to tell you, the words I am about to type are hard to get out without fumbling the keys.  It takes every ounce of self-assurance, a boat load of positive reinforcement, and a meticulously stacked tower of sturdy confidence to even think them (about myself), let alone type them on my blog for the world to see. 

So here goes nothing…

I am a writer (Whew, that was harder than you know). 

What is a writer?  For me it’s a storyteller, an evoker, a creator of worlds and experiences that give people an ability to escape their everyday realities.   A writer is the gate keeper of words, paragraphs, and chapters that gives the reader a magical opportunity to live vicariously through fictional characters.  A writer is a professional.  A writer is a gift.  

But for the life of everything vital, I have had a hard time aligning myself with the title “Writer”.   When it came to labeling my new found passion with that actual word, I didn’t think it was going to be so hard to do.  Heck, I identify myself everyday as an adult, a mother, and a wife without even flinching.  How hard could it be?  VERY!

But, I think I figured out why...

I came to writing later than most, I didn’t major in English or creative writing in college, and I will be the first to stand tall and say, I still need to learn a lot (I mean A-LOT)about grammar, editing and presentation (I said I finished writing two novels, I didn’t say they were duly edited and polished).  

All of my life I’ve understood what it was about to be self-confident.  Not cocky or self-centered, that is something totally different.  I’m talking about being confident in the choices I’ve made and results they have produced.  Doing what makes me happy, without hurting or alienating people around me.  A confidence in knowing whatever happens in my life; I take full responsibility for it— good bad, or indifferent.  I am a total believer in the law of cause and effect.  (You reap what you sow)

I know it’s going to take some work to build up my confidence in knowing that what I write isn’t half bad, maybe even publishable some day.  Day by day, word by word, sentence by sentence, manuscript by manuscript, I will keep building; keep creating, keep crafting, and keep writing, until I am so confident in my ability, that I can call myself a writer when someone asks what I do.
Now don’t get me started on the title author that is a whole different book of words… baby steps my peeps… baby steps…

Enjoy your week! 

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