From the first piece of writing ever published, the debate of what makes a writer ‘a writer’ has raged. Are you a writer because you write? Are you a writer only when you publish? Are you a writer only when you are paid for your work? Or are you only a writer if other people see you and name you as such?
In my opinion, I am a writer because I write and when I don’t write, I find my way back to the page to write. To expect a writer to write prolifically all the days of their lives is simply unrealistic, but when the writer is interrupted by the world around them, obligations and other things, yet comes back to the page to see how the words shake out is what truly makes a writer a writer. Hobbyists come and go, but writers are here for the duration–whether or not they make money.
I say this because this is what I feel strongly today. If you’re a regular reader, you realize that I missed posting another installment of my Let’s Write series on Friday, and I have been internally been beating myself up for it. There is no other explanation other than life getting in the way. This week my school reopened for the first time in exactly one year, and the amount of energy, focus, and enjoyment I took in seeing my students again simply sapped away all of my physical energy. There’s no shame in going to bed at 8:30 when you wake up at 4 in my school-days world, and there’s no shame in going to bed even earlier when the need calls. I needed the sleep to be there for the students, and knew that my writing would still be here when I returned, even if I missed posting a new lesson.
The thing is, the draft has been in my spiral notebook for a few weeks. I really have no excuse except that I lacked the energy to type it. I did add one post to the blog this week, though–a compilation of articles on different writing spaces from different authors and how to go about creating your own: Space and Place: Where Do You Write? I nerd out on such things, always contemplating components of the writing life and where it takes me. Do check it out if you’ve ever felt like you’ve lacked a mooring spot to settle and write.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor and find your way back to the page sometime this week if you’ve been away. You don’t need to create an opus or the next Great American Novel, but you owe it to yourself to get the words out and into the light of day. That’s what my words tell me, anyway.