Being a Writer

I’ve been told by a number of people since I was in my teens that I was a good writer. These observers have been teachers and professors, professional peers and managers, and personal friends. Writing has been a core element of my professional life for twenty years. Oddly, I’ve never classified myself as ‘a writer.’ When answering questions about who I am or what I do, I’ve never put ‘writer’ near the top of the list of descriptors. To be completely honest, unless pressed, I don’t even think of myself as a ‘writer’ in a way that resonates as my identity. I’ve used the label communicator without hesitation. But never writer.

One reason for this I suppose is that each of us tend to be our own worst critics. There are so many others I view as excellent writers. Writers that make a living writing and doing it so excellently that I don’t put myself anywhere near that category. Acceptable, sure. Useful, certainly. Even effective in some genres. But self-identifying as ‘writer,’ and a good one to boot? Not me.

Maybe I sell myself short and I’m more critical of my own abilities than I ought to be. Perhaps I’m accurately assessing my own skills. I’ve often wished to have the drive to write more. Earlier in my life I thought of it as something I should do more of. The ethic of fully using the skills one has for the grater good seemed to call me to write more.

The label of writer appeals to me as an identity. I was educated and molded to view it as noble identity. But the truth is I don’t have the focus or the patience for long form writing like books or novels. And my interests and energies are scattered and spotty enough to have kept me from sitting down long enough often enough to develop a body of work — so far. Even blogging has always seemed more of a should — a professional expediency and self-promotional tool — than a desire.

But now, I’m looking at it differently. I used to think there was already so much pointless blathering, commentating, and pontificating in the blogosphere that there was little point in my contributing to it. Sure, I have opinions and observations. So does everyone else. And Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest do a fine job of providing a platform for us all to put those out there for the world to see. I also know for some people it’s more about self expression and having an outlet for their own thoughts than an attempt to convince or entertain others. Oddly, I have found some of these to be the most appealing to me.

So, for whatever it’s worth (and I really have no illusions that it’s worth anything at all), I’ve started to jot things down and publish them in some organized way. A way that fences them off as my writing and is different from a post or a share or a thread comment. I’ll write about what’s on my mind when it’s on my mind — or when I have them time to think about it.

If you read and enjoy, cool. If not, no worries. This is for me. My attempt at being a writer.