August 30, 2008: If I Were A Real Writer

As I said yesterday, I don’t write every day. I haven’t written today, and I probably won’t before I go to bed. I spent the day the way I spend every Saturday, hanging out with my middle sister, who is my best friend and has been since we were both in junior high. Right now, I’m sitting with my husband, watching the Red Sox play the White Sox.

Not writing every day, not writing obsessively every free moment, not getting up early/staying up late to write: all of those things I don’t do contribute to my feeling that I’m a fraud as a writer. A fraud, or a dilettante of some kind. It also contributes to my guilt.

If I were a real writer, I’d write every day. If I were a real writer, I’d write every free moment I have. If I were a real writer, I wouldn’t have any life but writing.

I know with my head that the rest of my life feeds my writing. I know with my head that doing nothing but writing will eventually dry the well, and my work will suffer. What I know with more than my head is that I’m not cut out to do nothing but write. It’s never going to happen, it’s not who I am, and the last thing I should ever do is beat myself up for it.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rgoodchild
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 05:32:57

    or maybe a real writer knows you need time out to get those creative juices flowing…;)


  2. katycooper
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 14:56:05

    I completely agree with you, rgoodchild, but more than that, I love, love, love how you put it. I did not and would not have thought of framing things that way. I need to hold onto that idea when the “you’re not a real writer because you’re not writing” voice starts yapping…


  3. Chloe Devlin
    Sep 11, 2008 @ 15:48:51

    Very thoughtful suggestion. I like it and am adopting it also!


  4. katycooper
    Sep 12, 2008 @ 19:56:17

    One of the workshops I enjoyed most at RWA National in San Francisco was “It’s My Process and I’ll Cry If I Want To,” presented by Lillian Darcy and Jane Porter — mulling things over is part of my process, so I’m a real writer when I’m mulling.

    Which I’ve been doing a lot lately…


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