A while ago, the amazing/fabulous/funny/talented Frankie published this sweet post about writers who keep their writing a secret. There are many bloggers out there (ehem...me being one of them) who have shared their writing with everyone online--but rarely or never with their real-life friends and family. While there is so much talk about author-branding, putting yourself and your book out there and getting publicity before you get published, I still can't get myself to make that huge leap, step forward and say "I'm a writer" nowhere else but here.
I am a writer. It's a part of who I am. It's what makes me happy. I feel privileged to wear that tittle and I like to think of myself as one. The ever-increasing number of Word documents and words written speak in favor of above said. Yet, I hide it.
There are several reasons why that's so.
Could it be that writing is something so intimate that we refuse to expose ourselves in this way? Even if we are not writing about our own lives, but vampires, zombies and other pesumably imaginary creatures, there is always so much more to read between the lines.Your characters live up from your experience. They are bound to shine out a part of you. Those who know you in person see these subtleties. Most of the time, they are louder than what's stated. And I always ask myself--do they understand? If not, will they judge me for it? Will they understand the thrill I experience while I'm writing that story?
Now, one of the reasons why I stopped telling people about my writing is a real-life experience that left me speechless. Someone whom I really expected to know and understand such things about me and show support called me a nasty word for a scribber and said I should give up these fantasies and start thinking about real-life problems. Yes, it hurt.
Writing is a part of my identity. The few people who do know have been nothing but supportive. The one who found it ridiculous is not a part of my life anymore (but I swear it is not the reason why I'm divorcing him).
Someone somewhere said something like this; if you hide, you don't have confidence in yourself and your writing, and if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. I so do not agree. I couldn't be more confident about my writing. But I also have to be realistic and admit to myself that I'm not perfect--maybe not even good enough. I won't know until I share it, but until I feel ready for it, it's just mine. And I feel just fine with that.There is still so much to learn and experience before the Big Story is written and published. Whether The Black Butterfly is going to be that story, I cannot tell. What I can promise is that I am ready to wear out my fingers, eyes and keyboard keys to make it as best as it can be. If after that the story still isn't good, I'll write another one, with more experience and maturity under my belt.
One day, it's going to happen. One day I will feel ready to say "I'm a writer" loudly and proudly. Soon enough, I promise.