I started reading a new book today. On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker and Charity Craig. I received this book last year at the FMF Retreat, but I am just now to the point that I feel that I can start working through it.
It is a very interesting book as each chapter starts with stories, and then has a set of exercises for you to work through.
Chapter One is on identifying yourself as a writer.
First you have to tell someone you trust that you are a writer. Well, I told Dale, who happened to be in the living room with Boo and Little Bit.
I said, “I am a writer.”
They all said, “good!”
I said, “I’m taking it from being a hobby to something more.”
They all said, “good.”
It was almost a mundane experience. I don’t know what I was expecting. Fireworks or fanfare. Instead, I received “good.”
But at the same time, I also had little shivers running up and down my spine. I’ve never said those words out loud before, so it is a little bit exciting.
The next question is to write an essay on my identity as a writer, such as when did I start calling myself a writer, or why don’t I do so.
Well, I’ve always been a writer. I wrote several pieces in high school that would be considered “fan fiction” today, about Phantom of the Opera. I was enthralled with the musical, the book, the story. The one piece that I distinctly remember was from Christine’s point of view and asking a multitude of questions.
I even started a short story about “The Last Man on Earth.” Not the last person, just the last man.
But a high school teacher who was very generous with her critiques in green ink changed my opinion of my own writing and put those thoughts on the back burner. (Yes, I understand that when you write about a female protagonist that your title pronoun should agree, but I was inspired by Michael Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror.” Maybe I should have referenced that in the story. You could have said that.)
It has only been recently and with the help of my Five Minute Friends and the constant writing that I have found the courage to say “I am a writer” again. I have identified myself as a writer as recently as two and a half weeks ago, when I wrote about my journey on this blog and as long ago as January when I wrote about my word of the year. I finally became brave enough, or old enough to not care what anyone else says about my writing. I like to write and that’s what counts.
Interestingly, it appears that my writing has moved from the realm of fiction to the realm of writing about scriptures.
The next question in the book asks does rehearsing my story help me understand myself as a writer. Well, yes. Anything that helps you define yourself and the major points of your life is of benefit in understanding.
Well, there you have it. My essay on identifying myself as a writer. No, I’m not published. At least not beyond the scope of this blog. No, I don’t have a book. But I enjoy words, and I enjoy putting them into sentences. And in that aspect, I am a writer.
Until Chapter Two, or FMF, whichever comes first,