I’m not a writer.

I love writing, and when I write, I feel good; I feel like I am accomplishing something when I write. People tell me that I’m a good writer and suggest that I write a novel or a film. But despite this, I am not a writer.

Writers write, plain and simple. I would love to sit here and tell everyone how I sat down last night and wrote twenty pages of a novel that I have been planning for a year. Heck, even five pages would be progress, but that does not happen. In the past ten years I have come up with countless ideas for stories, both novels and films, but not one of them has made it further than a one page treatment on a piece of lined paper that gets lost within a barrage of schoolwork. I would like to say that I have kept track all of those ideas, but I haven’t.

For whatever reason, I have always been good at last second assignments. The night before something is due, I become the world’s fastest typist for a few hours and crank out whatever I need to turn in. During my junior year of high school, I had a teacher tell me that a paper I had written the previous night was good, but wasn’t about anything. I didn’t fully understand at the time, but after rereading what I had wrote, I realized it had no point of view. From then on, I make sure that my point of view is evident in everything that I write.

By making sure my point of view was visible in my writing, I realized that writing was fun. Even if I rushed the writing, it would have a part of me in every line, I love that. So when I was given writing assignments after that paper, I didn’t complain and instead got excited, wondering what I could possibly think of to make the papers great. I did a little research on subjects, I cleared off my desk, and I gave myself plenty of time to write…but remember, I am not a writer.

I spent hours with an empty Word document open on my computer while sitting on the Internet. I left that same document open for days and never wrote more than a sentence (which I quickly deleted), because I am not a writer. If you give me a task to write on and give me a deadline, I will write; I will write well and with purpose. However, unfortunately for me, book deals are not given based on assignments, they are based on a writers best long-form work. I have no long-form work because I simply cannot make myself write on anything for any extended period of time.

At my internship, I am given a task to write about and I do it without fail. Multiple staffers have complimented me on my writing ability and ask me about whether or not I want to do some sort of writing as a career. I currently have no answer.

My dad was a promotional writer for OPB for over thirty years. Everything I know about writing and much of the voice I built up for my writing is because of him. But he is not a writer either. He has always wanted to write the “Great American Novel,” but he hasn’t and there is nothing wrong with that. There is something inside both of us that just does not allow us to use the talent to take that next step to become a writer.

Someday, I too hope that I write the “Great American Novel,” or a screenplay that gets green lit into something that becomes an Academy Award winning film, but until I actually sit down and write (ala being a writer), it is all just a pipe dream. As I said, I love writing, and I would love to say that even writing this blog post is progress, but this is an assignment and I am not a writer.

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