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I Write, But I’m Not a Writer

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I’m not majoring in journalism. I don’t dream of one day being listed as an author. I don’t think about spending my nights wondering what my biography will say on the back of a hardcover book. I don’t hope for that day to come where I will have to pay the bills and hope that an important publication will choose to publish me.

I write, but I’m not a writer.

I write when I can’t sleep. I open my notes app and write what’s on my mind and sometimes I write what’s keeping me up, which is where my column, A Childhood Best Friend, We All Have One, came from.

I write to procrastinate. I don’t always want to do my history or law homework right away, so I write instead. I write to cope with emotion. I write through tears and laughter.

I write, but I’m not a writer.

When I’m unable to write, I end up thinking about what I will write next and how my sentences will flow together. I read books by my favorite author, Nicholas Sparks. I read essays from fellow classmates, and articles from fellow Impact writers, whose talent far exceeds my own and sometimes, I envy their ideas.

I never realized how much I could enjoy writing until I came to Mercy and took my first journalism class last semester. When I was in high school, Mrs. Pezzolo’s countless essays were always my favorite aspect of English class. And, every time I’d hand in a paper, I’d receive minimal corrections to what I submitted.

Many people think I’m shy because I don’t always speak right away. But, with writing, no one can tell if you’re shy through your words, which is probably why I like it so much. Aside from it being the quickest way for me to organize my thoughts and translate it on paper. Without writing, I may never be able to confront things in my life or get things off my chest, that I want to express.

I know what it’s like to be voiceless and vulnerable. I know what it’s like to be trapped in hundreds of things to say, but not be able to say it because no one will listen or the fact that I just don’t know how to say it.

I write, but I’m not a writer.

I also know what it’s like to stand at the edge of the mountain with my mouth open ready to scream, but instead, nothing comes out. Writing taught me that by confronting some of the deepest, most hidden parts of myself and my life, my writing honestly allows me to be one step closer to feeling better.

As I type on my laptop, it’s as if I’m creating notes on a piano like a musician. But I’m not a musician. As I write my stories, they come out like masterpieces like an artist. But, I’m not an artist.

I write because when I do, there’s an incredible feeling when I fill a blank page with words of my own thoughts that could eventually influence and help another, even if it means my reader’s eyes tear, heart sing, ears ring, jaw drop, guts wrench, or fists clench. But, I’m not a writer.

I never thought of writing as a profession. I always thought it was the type of job for people who have the talent of writing because there’s no time spent in the library memorizing terms or math equations or anything far complicated.

It’s always been my dream since I was younger to work in the law enforcement/criminal justice field. There’s a saying that goes, “what you pursue as a lifelong career says a lot about a person.” So, I guess for me it’s that I’m a lover of justice – I crave a deep understanding of the law, and I hope to help people.

However, I’m not sure if that truly defines me. I believe it’s what we do in our past time that says a lot and gives us an accurate description of who we truly are. Writing makes me feel like a better person. Everything I write comes from my own thoughts and opinions.

I’ve convinced myself over and over that I’m not a writer because I’m not a journalism major, but maybe I’m wrong.

There’s a quote that a former Impact staffer sent me, that’s been in the back of my head ever since: “I went to my mother who gave me this book called Letters to a Young Poet. Rainer Maria Rilke – he’s a fabulous writer; a fellow used to write to him and say, ‘I want to be a writer, please read my stuff.’ And Rilke says to this guy, ‘Don’t ask me about being a writer. If, when you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing but writing, then you’re a writer.’”

If that is the truth, then I am a writer. Because Rilke was right – I wake up every morning thinking about writing. I write because I love to tell stories. I write to put my feelings out on paper. Writing is that one passion in my life that has no limit. Writing is the adventure that I crave.

I write. Therefore, I am a writer.

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I Write, But I’m Not a Writer