Am I a REAL Writer?

I’ve been away for too long haven’t I? Sorry about that. A lot of stuff is going on in my life right now – stressful stuff. I haven’t been in a writing mood so instead I’ve been reading writerly type blogs. And I swear lately I’ve been reading that they all knew from a young age that they wanted to be writers. This is not true for me and it’s causing me some self-confidence issues.

As a kid I changed my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up often – sometimes daily. Journalist, Judge (until I discovered that you had to a lawyer first, I just wanted to be Harry T. Stone from Night Court), Photographer, Astronaut (until the Challenger explosion, that is) – you name it, I probably thought about it. Until, at age 16, I finally settled on THE ONE – actor. I could be all those things I wanted to be, and more, on TV or in the movies. I could sing and dance and make people laugh or cry on Broadway.

And that’s what I devoted myself to. Voice lessons, acting classes, head shots, BFA degree in college, moving to NYC, auditioning, getting rejected, becoming depressed. Depressed, hating my day job, feeling lost – then I read about NaNoWriMo and thought, that sounds like fun. So I signed up without a plan, a plot, or even much of an idea. November 1st, I started writing.

I “won” the challenge, 50,000 words by Thanksgiving. It felt wonderful, my creative juices were flowing, mind was reeling. I felt alive and passionate again – something that had been lost for quite some time regarding the theatre world. Now, I’m knee deep in revision of a full-blown novel. One I planned, thought-out, and executed. I took classes and studied. I tried things. Started and finished something. I became a writer.

But sometimes I feel like a fraud because I never was the one with my face buried in a book as a kid – I was daydreaming about singing in front of adoring fans. I practiced signing my autograph over and over again and planned my wedding to Joey Lawrence. I haven’t always wanted to do this, but I want to do this now – is that enough?

Can I be a legit writer if I just found this writing stuff by happenstance? These feeling are leaving me blocked for longer than I care to admit. With my novel, my flash fiction short pieces, even my blog – heck, my life feels a bit blocked right now. I want to feel the passion again. I want to be okay with where I am and how I got here.

It’s not the path of most writers, but it’s the only path I know – mine. Mine and mine alone. I need to be okay with that. I need to give myself permission to say, “Yes, I am a writer!” I need to just write. So, here I am, getting back to basics. My blog, my flash fiction pieces, my novel. Me. My story. My path.

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