When Do You Get to Call Yourself a Writer?

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That’s the question weighing on my mind lately: when does one get to call oneself a writer?

Recently, I’ve been following loads of people on WordPress and Twitter – young people about my age who already seem to have achieved so much more than me (writing-wise). A lot of them have already published articles and personal essays in various online and print magazines. This has lead me to contemplate my own writing which so far has gone by largely unread. Part of it is due to my own hesitation to share what I write. I feel like my writing is just not quite ‘there’ yet. But if no one ever gets to read what I write, aside from entries on this blog, can I really call myself a writer?

 

To be honest, I don’t ever actually call myself a writer. I always thought that was a distinction reserved for people who’ve actually had any of their work published. Is having been published the only determining factor though? Or maybe someone who religiously writes everday (which would also exclude me…) would qualify as well? I guess the simple wish to one day be an “established” writer isn’t enough…

After some further reflection, I realised, however, that I am not one to espouse elitist views, especially not when it comes to ‘the arts’. Writing is for oneself primarily. Sure, there are people who write for money, fame, recognition etc. but I believe most people with a passion for literature and writing would agree that the main “reason” they write is that it’s a perfect way to express oneself. To deal with life’s frustrations, to make sense of the rambling thoughts in your head, to cope with anxiety or depression, to create a world that’s wholly your own. And these experiences made when writing for oneself are just as valuable as are pieces printed in noteworthy publications.

 

For now though I doubt I’ll ever truly think of myself as a writer. I am too insecure and worried about style, originality, creativity, and authenticity. This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever get there eventually. So, until then, I will simply take solace in the fact that this is a struggle many writers(-to-be) face.

“[…] he had the vision necessary to write, but he needed to discover the method that could translate ethereal clouds of thought into written word”

quote on Jack Kerouac – one of my favourite authors – finding his writing style from Dennis McNally’s book Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation, and America

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your art

is not about how many people

like your work

your art

is about

if your heart likes your work

if your soul likes your work

it’s about how honest

you are with yourself

and you must never trade honesty for relatability

“To All Young Poets” – Rupi Kaur

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.

Bruce Lee

I find that to be very true. At least it applies to me. As a constant worrier, I usually ponder over things on my mind, whether and how I should approach something daunting and then go on to devise plans, which I hardly ever see through. Recently I’ve become a bit more spontaneous and impulsive but, most importantly, more confident in my own judgement. Whether it’s a new activity I want to try out, a club I want to join, a job I want to apply to, my main advice to myself is to just do it. Just do it…you’ll eventually figure it all out.

source: http://srainwater.com/

Happy Birthday Langston Hughes!

In honour of my favourite poet’s 113th birthday, I’ve decided to post another of his many lovely poems. This one is quite fitting for my blog’s recurring theme of dreaming (in case you want to check out the other poem I’ve posted so far, here it is).

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,

You dreamers,

Bring me all of your

Heart melodies

That I may wrap them

In a blue cloud-cloth

Away from the too-rough fingers

Of the world.

Here and Now

Here and Now
Live in the Here & Now!
Live in the Here & Now!

Does that happen to you, too, that you are too focused on the future: where you want to be, what you want to do, whom you want to be with? Instead of living in the here and now, I tend to invest all my time and energy into dreaming and thinking about where I want to go and don’t enjoy what I’ve got. Only recently did I realize that this is the wrong way to go about it.

We should, if not enjoy, appreciate life every day; no matter at which point we are. After this occured to me a few weeks ago, I actually felt better. I want to enjoy life right now and not look too far ahead. The future (undoubtedly) will come. There really is no need to rush it – I know, we shouldn’t waste our time, life is short etc. …. but who says that what you’re doing right now is umimportant or trivial?

What has been stressing me out as well are my “life resolutions” aka the list of things I want to achieve. Weirdly enough it feels like I am already running out of time to accomplish most of these, which, of course, is ridiculous. I don’t even want to be able to tick off everything from that list yet: there wouldn’t be anything left to do otherwise.

I always used to say that my life hasn’t really begun yet because I’m not at that (ideal) place yet but that’s not true. My life began 20 years ago.

We never noticed the beauty because we were too busy trying to create it

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I feel like we are constantly in quest of happiness. Sometimes so much that we tend to forget about all the good (small) things in life and therefore, we become less and less appreciative. Things like sunshine, nature, laughter, and good conversations (the list is endless) should not be overlooked. They should be savoured.

Captured the beautiful sunset in my hometown last week
Captured the beautiful sunset in my hometown last week
Pink Clouds
Pink Clouds