It’s what I tell people I am.
Most of the time it’s true.
Even in times of writing drought, when I was embarrassed by the day job, I told people I was a writer, as if that would somehow make up for, what I considered, my professional shortcomings.
I’m not just a food server, I’m a struggling artist.
I’ll never forget the time I used an elaborate word in front of a guest and them being surprised that I knew such a word and used it properly in context. How insulting.
Saying I’m a writer is almost like a hall pass. It takes time to make it, so floundering is all just a part of the journey. Working towards that goal for a number of years is expected, but I discovered I was lying. Pretending.
Not intentionally, of course. And really only to myself.
It was a way for me to justify taking another dead end job because a “real” job would be all-consuming and take away from what I really wanted to do. It was a way to excuse the life I had found myself in. It was a way for my friends to think me brave for following my dreams after all these years.
I didn’t want it bad enough. I thought it would be easier. The story is not quite right…yet.
Those are simple lies I could tell myself, in hindsight, as to why “it” hasn’t happened yet, but they’re simply not true.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It seems I’ve only ever gotten in my own way.
Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s laziness.
Showing up for a dream is hard.
I was searching through old posts for today’s subject matter and came across so many instances of me saying I was going to “do things different this year”. I was going to try a new strategy. Set new goals. Make my mark.
It all led to this.
I’ve had this blog for 8 years now. I can count on one hand the number of times I did something different in attempt to propel my career forward. I write about staying positive, reaching for your dreams, slaying your goals and rewarding yourself for achieving them because I wanted to create a space in which I could inspire others, as well as track my progress.
Finding myself regurgitating the same words all these years later…well, let’s just say it was rather eye opening.
If my actions are any indication as to who I am, I am mostly not a writer. But it is who I want to be.
I have wasted years not writing, but I’ve never not said I wasn’t a writer. It’s a big lie I’ve told myself, and one I will not continue to perpetuate.
One of my goals for this year was to discover what aspect of my writing to work on. I thought it might be structure or pacing.
Goodness. What sort of Pandora’s box did I open?!
Apparently, my problem is follow through. I could write all day, every day, but without an actual endgame, there is nothing to propel me forward to making writing all day, every day a reality. A contest deadline isn’t enough. There has to be more. More action. More steps forward. More accountability. More solid, actual progress.
I’ve been on a mission for months now, after that lightbulb moment, and I am proud to report that I’ve finished one story, rewritten two screenplays, and am nearly halfway through writing a new one. But now it’s time to do something about it.
This post (may) hint at my self-loathing for my ability to so long not go after my dream, despite all the quotes to the contrary, but it is the kick in the pants I need to get myself off this merry-go-round. Why would you want to keep reading about my journey if I don’t have one?
I want to throw my fist in the air and say “That all changes today!”, but it physically can’t, there are steps that have to be taken, but I am taking a first step in that direction soon.
A story for another day.
What lies have you told yourself that are keeping you from achieving what you want? Let’s help one another move passed them!