Of all the things I became in 2014, this one is the scariest. To say out loud that I am a writer is, to me, bold and presumptuous.
For years, I’ve called myself a blogger. I blog things! I have a blog! I know how to blog! But somewhere in 2014, I went from blogger to writer. I learned that I have power and influence and for a while those things overwhelmed me because that wasn’t the point. I don’t think I really knew what the point was, but I can tell you that it wasn’t to have power and influence. Maybe it was to make people laugh, I don’t know.
It’s a big responsibility to write things that people actually read, apply to their lives, or share with others. Every single time someone does that, I’m shocked a little bit. That feeling never dulls, no matter how long I do this. I hope it never does. Sometimes when someone tells me they like something I wrote or I get an email from a reader, I just sit and giggle. I know that sounds completely ridiculous and maybe that means I’m not a real writer, but whatever, it happens.
I’ve always wanted to write and, as I look back, I can see the puzzle pieces that fell into place this year.
In high school, I had a binder full of poems and stories that I would carry with me everywhere I went. I never shared it with others, but I was always writing. Most of it was absolutely horrible. I’m so glad it was the nineties and I didn’t really care about the internet at the time. I cringe just thinking about that crap making its way out into the world. Good Lord, it was bad, but it was a piece–one of the first pieces–of the puzzle.
In college, I took a million writing classes because I was an English major and also because I enjoyed them. One professor, Jim, changed the way I saw myself when I wrote. Before him, I didn’t really share my work and get feedback other than a grade in the grade book. Jim was the first person that worked on a piece with me, helped me refine my writing, encouraged me, and told me these odd thoughts I had in my head needed to make their way to paper. This was a big piece of my puzzle. A piece I would never have been able to find for myself, someone else had to intervene.
2011-2013 was about finding the rest of the outside pieces, the easier-to-do border pieces that you always start with because they’re obvious. It’s the middle–the pieces with no straight sides–that are the hardest and 2014 was the year I finally had to do the hard work and make the rest of my jumbled mess work. Sometimes the pieces went together without much struggle, but some pieces, oh some pieces were challenging.
But this year, it all came together. So now I can tell you, I’m a writer. The pieces that I couldn’t understand earlier, the bigger picture that I just couldn’t back up enough to see, all of that came together this year. And what I’ve learned as I awkwardly embrace this title, this name, of writer, is that my puzzle still isn’t complete. I can see enough now to know that it’s just one chunk of something so much bigger.
In 2014, I became a writer. I can’t wait to see where it take me.