I Am Writer Hear Me Roar!

Just so you know, I wasn’t doing any roaring twenty years ago when I first started writing.  The sound I was making was more like the soft whispered cries of a day old kitten. Privately I was happy to be writing, even feeling as though I had just as much right to be doing so as the next person, publicly I kept it all to myself. Who was I to even use the word, writer?

I remember how odd it felt once the time came for me to openly admit what I’d been doing in secret for so long. It felt like this huge big deal as I slowly began to open up to others. My face would flush, my heart would quicken whenever they asked what I’d been up to. And yes, I sometimes got a few strange looks when I’d say, “I’ve been writing.” Never once did I admit to being a writer, though. I was simply writing.

I still had miles to go.

Getting to the place were we’re willing to admit (under duress) that we write still doesn’t mean that we believe ourselves to be writers, but it’s the first step. Remember, we’re in our infancy, our eyes and ears are closed off to the outside world, and some of us just take longer to mature than others. No right or wrong, no hurries to get to where we’re going because no one knows how long it will take us to get there, and what all we need to learn, what steps we need to take.

While our mouths may regurgitate what is running through our minds, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, our hearts know the truth. When I reached that place where I could finally admit I was a writer (maybe I even talked myself into believing it in my head) my heart was silently objecting. Still, I didn’t understand why. I had the proof in front of me–several literary journals that contained my work. Something I knew many others couldn’t say.

Outward proof means little. I could wave those journals about all day long and I might feel good for a time, but feeling the need to prove ourselves to others can not stop that nagging little voice in our heads. When we truly believe something the need to convince others of it seems to vanish.

It is inward proof that we need, that knowing inside that we’re doing exactly what we were meant to do. And why not? There’s nothing out there stopping us from pursuing our dreams of writing except ourselves. No one is standing over us and telling us we can’t, we mustn’t, but that little voice inside our head.

“Someday I’ll write that story,” we say, which is fine so long as that “someday” come around. Someday allots us the opportunity to pretend our dreams are still out there. But it’s a lie. Those someday stories are impossible to get down on paper, as fleeting a summer breeze.

To go long with those someday stories we’re writing we have those silent objections that we’re never going to published anyway.

So what? That shouldn’t stop us if we truly love and enjoy what we do.  Many of us follow our dreams for pleasure and nothing more. Does there always have to be this huge big prize waiting for us at the end to tell us that what we’re going has validity?

Write. Tell your story to others. Entertain them with your work. Listen to what your heart is saying.  You may not be roaring quite yet, but eventually those quiet little meows will grow loud enough to be heard by others.

Having you reached the place in your writing life where you’re ready to roar or are you still quietly meowing while working away on your someday story?

 

If you’re ready, I’d love to hear you roar!!!

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28 Comments

  1. Been there. Whispered that–for a very long time. But I’m roaring now. I couldn’t agree more with your statement: “There’s nothing out there stopping us from pursuing our dreams of writing except ourselves.” Sometimes getting past the inner voices and the doubts and the fear is a much bigger challenge than actually inventing the story and writing it down. So when the writing gets done, I think we have a lot to cheer/roar about.

    Reply
    • So glad to know that you’re roaring, Heather. Here’s to roaring long and loud. You’ve earned it. :)

      Reply
  2. Roooaaaarrrrr! I can so relate, Laura. I still have trouble telling people what I do and having them take it seriously. A while back I figured out that writing is just part of who I am and needs to be expressed. I’m not doing it for approval from others, to make big bucks or become famous. It’s just part of how I express myself and I need to do it or I feel very robotic and drudgelike. Life becomes dull and flat unless I’m allowed to express myself creatively. It’s who I am. C’est tout!

    Reply
    • Wow! I heard you here in Nove Scotia, Cathy! Good for you. I’m nodding as I read your comment. If writing is who you are there’s no need to worry that people won’t take you serious. Bah, on what others think. The only person’s opinion that should count is your own.. :)

      Reply
      • ROAAAARRRR! (I’m looking at my motivational tulip belief poster as I roar for a reminder to believe in myself. Easy to say. Not always as easy to do.)

        Reply
        • Whoa! For a moment I thought Loup had nipped you.

          Reminders are there to remind us, and most of us can use a boost from time to time, Cathy. It’s good that we all have each other. :)

  3. It is so great to be able to finally roar, but like many it took a long time. I truly believe that when a dream does come true, no matter how large or small, it is important to tell the world!

    Reply
    • Roaring cleans out the lungs, Darlene.There’s a time for everything and eventually we get there. Dreams are what makes the world go round. :)

      Reply
  4. Still quietly meowing over here!

    Reply
  5. I laughed the first time I heard “Self-image is all in one’s head,” but I’ve come to realize it’s true. When it comes to writers there seems to be a conviction that we aren’t “real” writers unless we’re wildly successful — making a good living creating best sellers. I prefer to think if I write regularly, I’m a writer. Becoming published or successful is only a pleasant byproduct.

    BUT… I must admit that the first pay cheque I received for a published article felt like validation. I think that’s where I’m at with my novel writing, too. I’m loving the writing and have finished a few novels, but because none of them are published I tend to tell people “I’m dabbling with a novel or two.” That’s not exactly roaring, is it? LOL!

    Reply
    • Promise me that the next time you find yourself about to say, “I’m dabbling in a novel ot two,” you’ll think of me and say instead, “I’m writing a novel or two.” Dabbling is far too passive.Like you didn’t know that! Attitude certainly counts for something.

      Reply
  6. Laura, how perfect. I think I am somewhere between the small whimper of a kitten to the first roar of a wild cat :)

    Reply
    • Well in between means you’re slowly moving forward, Florence. This isn’t a race and you’ll get there in your own time. I’ll be waiting to hear your roar. ;)

      Reply
  7. Artists, singers, dancers, don’t have to go through this. They dance, they’re dancers. They sing, they’re singers. I wonder why as writers we’re so insecure? Hmm. I’ve been pondering this question for a long time, I don’t know if there’s an answer.

    I’m happy to report that I am a writer and have been for a long time. We bought some land last year, and one of the forms asked what my profession was. I have to admit, I got a tinge of excitement when I automatically jotted down A U T H O R.

    Reply
    • Yay for Joylene! Good for you! I need to start doing more of that. I’m still shy to mention that I’m a writer to many people as if it isn’t legitimate just cause I don’t get a huge paycheck and work nine to five steadily with a long commute to work and back. Sigh. I need to take myself more seriously if I hope for anyone else to take me seriously.

      Reply
    • That’s what I like to hear, Joylene. You’ve earned the right to roar as long and loud as you please. :)

      Cathy, it’s definitely high time for you to take yourself serious. Um and FYI having a published book doesn’t mean you’re bringing in a huge pay cheque…believe me.

      Reply
  8. When I joined the writer’s group over at Indigo Spider this year, I introduced myself with “My name is Joceline and I’m a writer”. and since then, that has stuck in my head and won’t go away. I kinda like it there even when that other sneaky voice says “yeah, right”.

    Reply
  9. Meow. :)

    Reply
  10. I love the self-image remark about it being in our heads. I, probably by some fluke, had a little short story published so does that mean I can “roar” and say I’m an author? Most of my (who am I kidding – all) writing is on my blog. I write my little short stories so I know I can claim to be a writer – I feel like one – so I’ll roar about that. My stories have appeared on other on-line sites and magazines and I no longer cringe and wait for the shoe to drop when asked what I do. I just say “I’m a writer”. If I say it enough times (convincingly) I know I’ll believe it! :)

    http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • No story is puny, Donna. Every publishing credit counts so yes, you can roar as loud as you want! The truth is, we all have to start some place and we all won’t have the same level of success as others. That doesn’t mean our work isn’t valid or reason to roar. I wonder for how many of us who’ve had work published, there are writers out there who are still working toward their first piece. Be proud! :)

      Reply
  11. I recall the first time I was asked my profession on an official paper and I recorded ‘writer’. It was a great thrill. Each time I do this, I always get a second look from the person filling in the form.

    Do I roar? Not really. I just go with the flow and act as if I’m normal, so no one will suspect I’m a writer. lol

    It’s my little secret in my real life. Half my family still don’t realise I’m a writer. On the Internet and with my column, it’s a different story. Folks who read my material know I’m a writer.

    Reply
    • Too funny. I bet your family is smarter than you think. Seems strange that some people just don’t know what to do with the word writer..Are they afraid of us?

      Reply
  12. I’m getting ready to roar . . . I can feel it in the back of my throat. :-)

    Reply

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