Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to be a writer. In elementary school, I was quite prolific, sending manuscripts to be “published” week after week. (Publishing included being kindly typed up and bound by volunteer mothers). I’ve always been honest to others about my dream to be a writer. And yet sometimes, I approach it as my unrealistic dream or my end goal. Why should it be something unrealistic? I’m young, yes. But plenty of writers are young. There are better writers than me and there always will be—just as there are worse writers than me and always will be.
I’ve recently made an effort to look at writing and my goal more seriously. Not in the sense that I don’t have fun with it—in fact I’ve been taking more risks and trying new things of late—but in the sense that I’m letting myself acknowledge that it is a real goal. It isn’t just a far off dream but instead something I can actively work towards. I’m dabbling in freelance writing (as in endless submissions and waiting for responses) as well as spending more time working on my fiction.
In a previous creative writing course, my classmates, professor and I had a discussion regarding the label of writer. When can you officially call yourself one? Is it when you start pursuing publication? Once you’ve had something published? Once you’ve had multiple things published? The debate jumped around but a large consensus seemed to agree that you were a writer when you called yourself a writer, when you acknowledged it, not society or anyone else. A big part of that, at least for me, is letting go of the fear that comes with making such a proclamation. There have been all kinds of studies that say other people won’t take your dreams seriously until you do. So this is it, my acknowledgment that my dreams are serious, that failure might be a distinct possibility but then again so is success, and at the end of the day the fact remains: I am a writer.