I’d like to call myself a writer. I used to write poetry. But I gave up on that. I started writing a novel about a decade ago. Gave up on that too. I wrote a children’s book. After a year of rejection letters, I gave up on that. I wrote a bunch of children’s poetry and short stories. After another 6 months of rejection letters (although, at least most of those were handwritten), I gave up on that. Typically I’m not a quitter. But the writing industry is cruel and unforgiving, and for reasons I can't quite explain, I just gave up. (And you want to know the real irony? My children’s book is about…not quitting!)
Although I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, the turning of the calendar to 2010 inexplicably inspired me to make some serious changes in my life. At the top of that list was finding a way to call myself a writer. My first step was starting a blog to get my creative juices flowing again. The second step: attend a writer's group to associate with other writers. And the third step: choose one of my unfinished projects and get that sucker published.
Then I will truly be a writer. Right?
Right now I’m stuck in limbo somewhere between steps 2 and 3. When I ask myself why I’m not working on my book, my instinct is to answer, “I don’t have time.” Or “I don’t have the energy.” But I’ve posted on my blog every single day for almost 2 months now. I clearly have both the time and the energy to formulate words into coherent sentences. So what is stopping me?
Today I tackled another baby step toward donning the hat of a writer. I carved out my own writing space. It may seem insignificant, but I found it absolutely necessary. Once I analyzed the situation, I discovered that the real problem wasn’t that I hadn’t claimed my own writing area. It was that my area was cluttered with distractions. And if my area is cluttered with distractions, then it’s only natural that my mind will be cluttered with distractions.
In anyone else’s eyes, my writing area is the same old desk it was yesterday. But they wouldn’t notice that I’ve organized all of my previously hidden essentials (manuscripts, notes, research, instructional books, and yes, those pesky rejection letters) strategically within reach. I typed up pages and pages of virtually indecipherable handwritten notes and removed or trashed other ill-placed distractions that should have been removed or trashed ages ago. And my favorite part…a couple of motivational quotes staring me in the face to remind me to stop talking about wanting to be a writer and start being a writer.
My work space is officially de-cluttered. Time to start writing.
“If you wish to be a writer; write!” ~ Epictetus
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Ben Franklin