At what point do you not get to call yourself a writer anymore?
You know the story: maintaining a household, full time job plus commute, family stuff (I’m going to be an auntie!), plus health issues. I don’t have children, at least two legged ones. it’s not as if I don’t have time, or opportunity. I have both, and I know that I’m privileged to have them.
I haven’t written anything major for months, as you no doubt have noticed. I have tons of excuses. I read writing blogs and feel bad. I read fellow writers and feel bad. I’m in awe of how words just flow from them, even though I know a hell of a lot of work and practice has gone into that. I have a box full of business cards in my study that all say ‘freelance editor and writer’. And I’m not sure I can call myself a writer anymore.
I still love words. Always have, always will. I want to write, more than anything. I still have stories in my head sporadically, but not as often as I used to in my teenage glory days. The daily trudgery has overtaken me, and I spend most of my time playing games on my phone whilst commuting. There’s just no fire in me anymore when it comes to writing; just the despair of a blank page and blinking cursor. I can’t go into the world of my mind as easily or as often as I used to. My imagination and drive just isn’t there.
I still want to be an editor, and love looking at others’ manuscripts. I will volunteer again come NaNoWriMo. But at the same time, I feel a little heartbroken, because that should be me.
There’s no easy way out. The only solution is glue my arse to a chair and slowly, painfully, crank something out. But I have other stuff. Life stuff.
Chris is still working, still creating. He’s struggled, as I have, but he’s got the talent, the drive, the creativity. He’s never stopped. He’s never given up. I really admire the way he can tell a story through simple pencil strokes, the subtlety of light and shade, just little things. Even though we use vastly different techniques of story telling, it’s hard not to compare. He’s so ambitious and determined, both things that I’m not.
Can I still call myself a writer? Is there any way I can get back on the horse? Or should I just accept that this part of me is forever gone?