Writer habits- day 1: Declare

History of wordsI wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. There are pictures of me as a kid, headphones on, pounding away at the typewriter. My Grandma thought I should be a journalist. I wanted to write novels. In highschool, I decided that being a poet was a better fit for me (and would probably get me a girlfriend). I wanted to write spirit moving poetry, song lyrics, and maybe some avant-garde literature. What can I say, I was a bit pretentious.

The point is, when people asked me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was always the same: a writer. I did write too. I wrote stories for friends. I wrote poetry, some good lots and lots that was bad though. I began the habit of filling notebooks with my thoughts, emotions, poems, stories fragments, ideas… words, ink, and graphite was splashed about those pages in a reckless fashion. I was going to be a writer, so I had to write.

I kept this pace up into my mid 20’s. Then I started blogging, and my journeling slowed down. I still wrote, just not as often. I spent more time thinking, reading, processing. But I still wrote. I was still writing. In fact I had an article published (What the Atonement Did- published in March 2007 edition of Next-Wave ). I was proud of that. Still am.

I don’t know when it happened, but over the last 5 or 6 years, I forgot that I am writing. I reverted back to the idea that it would be awesome to be a writer, if I had something to say. I convinced myself that I’m just a guy who writes sometimes, a wanna be “real writer”. Instead of writing, I think about what I could write. Instead of sharing with the world through my blog, I spend time fretting over a blank page. I stopped the act of writing. I forgot that I am a writer.

Do this is my declaration to my self: I AM A WRITER! Other people seem to already know it. My wife reads my stuff, and encourages me to keep doing it. Online friends keep telling me to keep writing, that my words matter. Flesh and blood friends know that I write. No one laughs at the idea of me actually being a writer… no one except my self that is.

So stop it! I am a writer. I need to get in the habit of accepting this position, this title for myself. The first habit to be a great writer, to be great at my passion, is to believe that I actually am a writer. I can be a good writer, a bad writer, or a great writer. Yet, even the quality of my writing doesn’t change the fact that I am a writer.

So I declare to myself, I am a writer.

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