Writing Craft: Am I even a real writer, and other burning questions.

(This is from my writing craft series; you can read more on Patreon. Please note that these first posts are about things that aren’t strictly about the craft of writing, but the craft of surviving as a writer, if you will, because I want to get them out of the way first.)

This section contains questions that I have struggled with myself, or have heard more than once from friends, colleagues, and clients. My initial list was quite long; I could write a full-length book addressing questions that writers use to distract themselves from their work.

At the heart of each question is: But I’m tired.

At the heart of each answer is: I know. Give yourself a break, but don’t give up.

  1. Am I even a real writer?

If you are reading this book at all, you are likely a natural storyteller who enjoys stories in general, and, further, enjoys immersing yourself in your own stories, whether written or merely daydreamed. Asking “Am I even a real writer?” is neither useful nor appropriate. You are already marked, blessed, or cursed with a tendency to make up stories, and it is unlikely that you can remove that tendency. You can only bury it, at which point it will, like many repressed talents and emotions, cause you to make a complete ass of yourself on a regular basis.

If you don’t create something, no matter how bad it is, you’ll probably end up self-destructive, depressed, a burden upon those who love you, and an annoyance to those who don’t.

My advice is to buy the fancy journal and the too-expensive pen, and use those tools to write complete trash. You, and the world, will be better for it, even if none of your writing ever sees the light of day.

If you need it, you have my permission to write poorly, with no success or recognition whatsoever, upon whatever self-indulgent daydream suits you best.

Your writing is probably not as bad, or as good, as you think.

(Continued here.)

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