Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What if I'm not a Writer?

I've mentioned this before. My first book I ever wrote was a few chapters long. Each page was a new chapter. I was in second or third grade. The book was about unicorns that lived on another planet. "Do you like writing?" my teacher asked me.

"Well, I don't like moving the pencil back and forth but I like telling stories," I replied. That was because I didn't know if she meant writing like..writing stories or writing like penmanship. I didn't have the patience for penmanship. 

I've been telling stories ever since. 

Besides a ridiculously strong empathy complex, writing has always been my superpower. I'd help friends with papers, I'd edit clients' work, I'd write profound posts on life's happenings that my friends would share. I'd journal. I'd blog. I still do many of these things. However, recently, I've begun to slip down the slide of self-doubt. Influences in my life, some of which have been put in place to make me a better and stronger writer, have tended to a garden of insecurity.

My current full-time role has seen a shift in responsibilities. Many writing projects are being shared with freelance writers....the very role I'm striving to become. Is my work sub-par? Am I not as good as everyone once said I was? Why are these writers a better fit? If I'm not writing...what am I doing here?

At my part-time gig, which I love dearly, I now have been challenged to "step out of my comfort zone" and my work is seeing sharper editing and challenging to elevate it to brilliance. Have I been naive enough to think I had been grazing brilliance every time? Shit, I thought I was great. Apparently I have a lot to learn. 

That is the problem with riding the compliment wave. Everything you do gets praise and when the praise turns into critiques, it is hard not to assume you suddenly suck. Instead of seeing the critiques as growth and learning opportunities and a chance to home in on my craft, I'm doing what I always do. I'm taking them personally. 

If I am not a writer...what the hell am I? I'm certainly not a journalist because I have never been able to break into that challenging and yet dying field full-time. I'm not a marketer because I never was one. I'm a PR person by profession but I do not have the skills to be a PR mogul. I also find press releases to be boring and constricting. If I'm not a writer...I don't know what I am. Perhaps I am still a writer...just not a good one. 

This brain dump is just a way for me to process some things. As January roars to a close, I've lost 10lbs, felt like I was on a different level of conscience all month, bathed myself in unwavering positivity and tried really hard to make each day count. It was exhausting and it was exceptional. Now I'm questioning things. What am I? Who am I? 

I think I need to identify the pitfalls in my writing and seek professional help to fix them. Perhaps a writing course or writing workshop. I need some sort of development to improve my writing skills. After all, are any of us true masters? We spend our lives perfecting our works and elevating our skills. Clearly I need to do that. I need to take myself out of the "great writer" space and put myself back on the path of a novice learning to craft a sentence. 

To new beginnings or something optimistic like that. *clink*

Until next time...

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What if I'm not a Writer?

I've mentioned this before. My first book I ever wrote was a few chapters long. Each page was a new chapter. I was in second or third ...