Ann's News

Claiming to be a Writer: The Pressure

A few years ago, I ran into Will Farrell at the gym in New Orleans. I forget what movie he was in town filming, but it was while I was in top condition preparing to step on stage to compete in a bodybuilding competition, so my shredded physique managed to catch his attention. He approached me and we spoke a few times—but not once did he make me laugh. I remember being disappointed. He was a nice guy but I expected the fame comedian to be a riot to talk to. Aren’t comedians always supposed to be funny?

After I hit submit on my latest AirBnB review, I realized how simple, basic, and badly composed it was—and I imagined my former host, to whom I mentioned I was a writer, being disappointed with my review. “And she claims to be a writer?” I can hear him tell his wife. “Not much of a writer based on this review.”

Aren’t writers always supposed to be witty, painting pictures with their words, and wordsmith wizards?

I’ve been a blogger for over a decade and I’ve written hundreds of posts by now, all of which received basic editing on my part, but since self-publishing three books, and plastering the title writer to all of my social media profiles, I’ve scrutinized my blog posts with a new level of attention to details.

I wrote a statement for someone—after reading it, he commented on how well written it was and added: “Of course, makes sense, you’re a writer.”

Sure, sometimes I’m struck by writing magic, but most times, it’s pretty standard strings of words void of anything special. However, it doesn’t seem far fetch to expect the writing of a writer, to be above that of others.

What is with the title writer that makes me think I should be different than I am?

I don’t know what your image of a writer is—but mine is one of a person with a bottomless vocabulary, vivid imagination, and an eclectic and irrelevant knowledge base. A mind filled with useless metaphors, and grammatical rules only those with the title writer know how to properly employ.

I can’t rattle off anything, so fat chance I can quote or name many, or any, of the truly great authors of past or present.

I’d have better luck dissecting and identifying the parts of a frog than those of a sentence. Yet, I claim the title: writer.

I won’t ever live up to the image the word writer conjures up in my mind, but at the same time, I’m going to keep the title. The pressure can only help to make me better. Writing is a skill that with time, practice, and experience, I can continue to grow until there’s a little hint in everything I compose that makes people say: “She can write.”