Thursday, May 2, 2013

You Know You're a Writer When.........

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

This week I spent a glorious afternoon catching up with two of my favorite "book people" in the world, Robin Kall Homonoff, aka radio personality and host of Reading with Robin, and her daughter, Emily, who is graduating from college this spring!  This dynamic mother and daughter duo have a constant flow of words running through their veins and straight to their hearts and minds at all times, and it's utterly contagious!

As a writer and a fellow "readahollic" I soaked in and cherished the two hours (which was not nearly enough time!) we spent chatting authors, styles, voices and quirks, and most enticing reads for the upcoming summer season, and it got me thinking about my own dreams of writing a novel someday (soon!) that will hopefully set my "reading friends" on fire because it will be so cleverly written they won't be able to put it down!  

Once I returned home and sat down in my cozy writing space at home I started thinking about all the authors that have touched my life in addition to the insightful columnists I follow on a regular basis and wondered if before they ever became published they asked themselves a question that many writers, new and experienced, have asked themselves, "How do I know when I'm a real writer?"

In my writer's library I came across a witty book on the topic called You Know You're a Writer When.....written by Adair Lara.   Here are a few of my favorite responses in this fun read.

In the introduction she shares:  A writer is someone who writes.  Writing is not a job, something you do.  It's something you are, something you can't not be.  Being a writer is not a matter of being published, it's about being so bewitched by language that writing seems real, and life by comparison feels like a dream.

You Know You're a Writer When..........

  • You've switched to stretchier pants and looser sweaters to hide the effects of hours at the keyboard.
  • You hide your writing journal on your lap at your kid's soccer game and rely on the other moms to give you the stats at the end of the game, especially if your own kid makes some great plays.
  • You catch yourself patting your laptop with affection when you close it down.
  • A new ream of blank paper can bring on an anxiety attack.
  • At parties, you check out the bookshelves the way other people snoop through medicine cabinets.
  • Not writing makes you depressed!

Just for the record, I have been calling myself a writer ever since my first essay was published in The Providence Journal 12 years ago and I've never looked back.    How about you?  When did you decide you were a writer?

1 comment:

  1. I have always been a writer but did not articulate, or even realize it, until a year or so ago.

    All my life I have written voluminous letters, many to friends but especially, when I was a young girl, to an uncle who lived in a distant state. I sent him pages and pages in which I sorted out what was going on in my life. While it was in reality an attempt to work out the angst-ridden aches of growing up, to his credit, my uncle generously and frequently responded. I always looked forward to envelopes with his familiar scrawl arriving in our mailbox.

    Little did I realize that letter-writing would lead to a love of reading and writing and a degree in English; a passion, in short, for the written word.

    A couple of years ago, a friend suggested I submit a portfolio to a writing workshop. (That friend is the one who sent me here).

    To my surprise and delight, I was accepted. That was when I began to call myself a writer. A not-for-profit writer, but a writer nonetheless.

    The compulsion to write is inescapable. Most of my pieces are reflection or memoir, with occasional reviews of books or film. With the miracle of facebook, I am able to share my work with family and friends. It is enough for me, for now.

    Last year I began a quest to run 5K before my sixtieth birthday. I posted my intention on f/b to be held accountable. That post was the beginning of an ongoing journal, "Journey to 5K and Beyond: Adventures in Running." I am now in the process of putting that document together formally in the hope of finding an audience, however small.

    The journal does not reflect, at the end of the road, on what I did. It is, rather, the day-to-day [or run-to-run!] story of the journey as it evolved, with its hopes and wishes, it successes and disappointments, its fears and joys. My hope is that it can help others embarking on a similar journey.

    I look forward to browsing further on your site.

    Warm regards,
    C. Ciampanelli
    North Providence RI