So You Want to Be a Writer

I think so . . . Maybe? Ugh I don’t know.

In all my struggles of figuring out what I want to be when I grow up as a young adult-olescent who already is a grown-up (kind of), I have never been able to shake “Writer/Author” out of my head.

It’s the dream that has lasted the longest.

Even when I gave up on archeology in second grade, singing in fifth grade, and acting in… 16th(?) grade, being a writer has always been there in the back of my mind.

However, it’s never been something that has actively been on my radar. Sure, I was an English major and was constantly writing and thinking critically about great works of literature, but never had I thought, “I’m doing this because I’m going to be writer when I get out of college.”

I don’t even really have one of those endearing stories from my childhood where I would write my own little books in crayon and bind the pages together with pipe cleaners. (Although I do remember piecing together a few comic strips of my own making because apparently I also wanted to be a cartoonist).

The first time I can remember writing something — and I mean really writing something, as in totally on my own, on my own time, not for school, beginning, to middle, to end — was when I was a freshman in high school. I don’t remember much about it except that it mostly read like a Twilight fanfic, probably because I had just finished reading those books and was in love with them (15-year-old Teri was still figuring out her tastes).

That story is stored deep within the confines of my journal from that time, locked safely away, hopefully never to see the light of day ever again.

But as embarrassing as it is to think about how terrible that story was, I still am proud of myself for writing it.

Now, I write with such self-consciousness. Even when I’m writing in my own journal, I feel the need to censor it, not necessarily for other people who could find it one day and read it, but for my future self. I’m scared that later on I’m not going to like what I had to say, or that I’ll have found a better way to say it when I’m older and wiser.

I haven’t quite shaken the insecurity I feel at creating anything just for the sake of creating it, because I can’t get rid of the fear that I won’t be excited about a project in week.

I’m scared my passion is going to run out before it can propel me to the place I want to be.

And that’s wrong, right?

I am the queen of getting in my own way. I haven’t yet gotten over this doubt that I quit acting and theater before I even really started just because I was scared of it. I haven’t been able to stop wondering if I should’ve done something else in school that’s more “practical” rather than creative.

But at the same time, there’s a part of me wishing and hoping that I could go back to that time in my life where I felt so sure of myself.

I didn’t doubt myself in college. Well, maybe I did sometimes, but I was always happy doing what I loved to do. I was writing, creating, acting, brainstorming, having those important conversations — it was non-stop.

Now, a lot of that has fallen flat. It’s like, without the resources to create in abundance, I’ve lost my way.


Except here. This blog. It’s been some sort of godsend. And while I don’t have a lot of followers, and sometimes it seems like a chore to sit down and write something every week, I’m finding it’s making me a better person.

And I don’t know that the hell I’m doing. I may not be blogging the right way or taking the proper steps to ensure the most followers or the most interaction, but knowing that there are at least a few people reading these words right now — that gives me hope.

It gives me the connection I felt I was lacking for so long.

And I’m still figuring it out. According to basically everyone on the planet, that will be my new perpetual state of being — figuring it out.

Writing is a medium I get. It is the tool I have always found most helpful and most real.

It is conscious, active communication that can lead to real human connection even though hundreds of miles may separate writer and reader. It takes time, thought, and a whole lot of heart.

So, yes. I want to be writer.

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