A writer. Simply defined as a person who writes, but is that the true definition? I have often pondered this question and then the associating questions that ultimately follow, but regardless how often i muse on the topic, I’m still at a loss for words. To write, in my opinion, is essentially that, to write. But that means every person who can construct a sentence is writer, and personally I think there is something much deeper about being a writer then just scribbling sentences on a pen scored page.
To me, being a writer is something of a release. It’s a sense of freedom. I’m essentially writing my story. It’s my words, my imagination, my feelings, fears and struggles; it’s my construct. There are no rules, no limitations, no necessary items or events that i have to include, I’m completely free to write to my hearts content. But in addition to this, i also believe that your attitude and determination plays some part in the definition of writer.
Everybody wants their voice to be heard. Similarly, everybody has a story that needs to be shared. It can be of great sorrow, great joy, great achievement or even something funny that you have seen, heard or even done. Everybody has a story, and it’s your job, no, prerogative as a writer to see that those stories see the light of day. The level of determination, your attitude and what you are willing to sacrifice is essentially, in my opinion, what separates the writer from the everybody.
I never thought i could be a writer, i mean i have written plenty of assignments, waffled on about medical marvels, criminological studies and the importance of including them into today’s society, but i never thought that i had anything to offer, never really thought that i had a story worth sharing, or a story that no body had heard before.Which is essentially, what you want. You want someone to open the cover, read the first few sentences and be transported to another world; experience things they have never experienced; feel things that they have never felt; sense the hairs on the back of their neck stand to attention at the peak horrific climax; and not be able to stop. But i had never done that, i had never… free balled. As graphic as that image may be, its a pretty valid description. Everything that i had ever written was a construct of someone else; their ideas, their marvels, their story. I was trapped. I felt as if i was in a never ending loop, the sleepless nights, the hours chained to my desk punishing myself, the smell of stale coffee. It was horrific. I was miserable, frustrated but most importantly i felt invisible. I knew that i was worth so much more, i knew, like many of you out there, that i had something to say, so i said it.
As simple as it may sound, i said it. I sat in front of the blinking text icon and began to construct a completely different world. A world that sucks you in like quicksand. Gritty, unrelenting and full of fear. I found my voice. My outlet. I free balled! It didn’t stop there, i still had to live my life. I still had to make sure that my assessment items were on point, my work was getting completed and my brain wasn’t slowly escaping from my ear. I still had to be a responsible adult. So i shuffled a few things round, stopped and started a few times, and after 6 months – i was finished. Now there were still sleepless nights, stale coffee and hours spent at my desk, which i don’t think that will ever change, but there was also that feeling of completion with each chapter down. As well as tears. So many frustrated tears.
So after all of that, where back here, to a single question – what is a writer? To which my answer is – I still don’t know. I do know that its about determination, it’s about wanting to free ball, and its about emerging yourself into another world, constructing it one brick at a time whilst keeping your real world alive and thriving. It’s about putting time and effort not only into yourself but into your ideas, your wants and essentially your desires. It’s about the sleepless nights, the stale coffee, the illegible etchings on the notepad you keep beside your bed. It’s about the fear you have in your gut, the romantic idealizations and the need to be heard. It’s about the words, the story and the feel of that shiver running down your spine as you finish the last chapter.
What is a writer? You tell me.