I am not a writer if what many writing blog sites tell me is true. I would agree if I didn’t know better.
The blogs tell me that a “real writer” writes every day or they suffer withdrawal. Writing is an addiction that must be fed constantly; writers never take vacations or very short one and they are unhappy the entire time, and writers are on the verge of divorce as they devote more time to craft than to their significant other. None of these are absolutes, but some bloggers make it sound that way.
I enjoy other things besides writing. I am not addicted to writing my novel, blogs, or social media posts. There are other important things in my life. Bowling ten pins with several friends in a men’s league are one of them. We have bowled together over twenty-five years in the same league. My wife and I have bowled since 1985 in a mixed league. Our partners sometimes change but she and I remain partners as long as we are in the league. *She has put up with me since 1974.*
This year I added soccer coaching to my weeknight activities. Only one night during fall and winter but two nights in the spring. *My wife has not asked for a divorce yet.* Three seasons of the year I have one night a week free!
I claim to be a writer without reservation. I write a little most days but it is not the obsession that some articles claim it must be to be a writer. I already mentioned my wife is not ready to divorce me yet because of my writing. We are taking a vacation that will be at least 14 days in July. I won’t be unhappy and will not suffer withdrawal.
With all of my activities which occupy my time, how can I claim to be a writer? It is because I have a three novel concept for with two written and in revision. K.M. Weiland’s software will help me outline the third. *I pantsered the first two and I am paying for it as I revise while editing them.* Sometimes I write (edit) after bowling; sometimes sitting in front of the television in a recliner across from my wife; sometimes after soccer practice; but mostly on the weekends. Until I retire, my weekdays will be filled by a full-time job.
What brought this post into mind? I was commenting on a writing blog I had not written this day because I spent the day on our pontoon boat. We set out for a quick spin with my son on the South River and ended up out for about four hours. We set out for a quiet area west of the Riva Bridge, back to pick up a jacket because the sun went into hiding and the wind worsened. Collected the jackets and out again to a cove across from the marina. We met several other boats there and tied up together after setting our anchor. Kids in the water on rafts, drinks shared, snacks for those who had them. The sun came out and I enjoyed sunbathing. As the song says “Who said anything about skiin’? Floatin’ is all I wanna do.” It was two hours of floatin’. The only writing the entire day was in the comment I made.
The large of it, I am enjoying the FALL OF MY LIFE. I write to tell my stories. I work to get ready for retirement the end of this year or mid-year next. I bowl because I enjoy the camaraderie and challenge. Soccer coaching taxes my aging body but the boys try to keep me young.
Am I a writer? Yes, I am but more than just a writer. I am a father, grandfather, spouse, bowler, coach, and writer. *Some people say I am other things but I discount their assessment since I can’t share in mixed company.* Can you define yourself as more than just a writer? Tell me.
You are a writer.
That nonsense about it being an addiction is just that. Maybe for some it is, but certainly not all. I think some like to make it a super elite club. I got over that in high school.
If anything threatened my marriage, my day job, or my children, I’d be in therapy or rehab, not blogging about how others should join me.
I don’t feel badly not writing every day. I think I have a well-balanced perspective regarding what is important. I write because I enjoy it, not to make it a profession. At 70, this year, I have been through two careers and just need a couple hobbies to take me to the next plane of existence.
I am a writer. Because I write.
A friend of mine is a photographer and she talks about having to differentiate events that she photographs and events that she participates in, because the photographer (if they are good) is always outside, an observer, there to document visually, not to interact.
I feel the same way about writing. I like to sit quietly and gather notes, even on vacation. Journalers are not always popular. And, I like to observe people, which often means I’m not interacting with them.
I don’t write every day, though I feel I should. I feel guilt about that, rather than withdrawal. I do enjoy the time I spend putting words together into sentences that will communicate my thoughts to people. But, I don’t do it every day.
I am also a visual artist. Drawing and painting are a completely different, and rather meditative experience for me. I can get lost in a picture and lose track of time. When writing, I feel the time and it’s a conscious effort, albeit an enjoyable one and more rewarding for me.
So yes, I am a writer. You are also a writer. What we get out of our writing will be decided by the priority we give it. But, w are writers.
I enjoy putting words (ideas) on paper. Sometimes I have problems writing what I see in my mind. I never doubted that I am a writer. My life has many completed works. Some when I developed training, some when I wrote code and the guide for using the training package, two computer security papers published by the SANS Institute. I can honestly say that I have written fiction while in the Navy as I completed my own performance reports :-). I, also, am a writer.