Being a writer means seeing the story in everything. It means building characters out of strangers; attempting to control the narrative.
It means holding a pen between quivering fingers over the terrifying expanse of a blank page.
It means enduring a consistent struggle to sit down at the page every day. It means hating what you’ve written and hating what you’ve written and hating what you’ve written until one day you don’t quite hate it anymore.
Being a writer means helping other people understand; helping them move through their own experience—or the experiences that they wish to have—through your words.
It means relating to one another; all of us.
It means teaching lessons. It means learning them—as you write, and after. And again and again, as you continue to come back to the page and explore life through the soft scratches of your pen or the gentle taps on the keyboard.
Being a writer means being, at once, gentle and aggressive. It means being patient and eager; desperate to answer the questions that come out of the story, that tug on our minds.
It means considering other perspectives; writing from another point-of-view. It means cultivating a greater understanding of the human condition, of the whole of society. It means practicing acceptance and forgiveness.
It means taking notes on life. And occasionally sharing how to ace life’s tests—or sharing how you’ve failed them, so others can tiptoe around your mistakes; study harder.
Being a writer means cracking yourself open, letting your feelings—your anxieties, your desires, your happiness, your mistakes—leak slowly onto the page.
It means opening yourself up to scrutiny and judgment—most often from yourself.
It means being curious, withholding judgment. Or, if you must judge, taking a look at the reasons why you do. It means digging, asking questions, turning over stones—most often your own.
Being a writer means being scared of what you’ve written, but even more scared not to share it.
It means understanding that everything is important; everything and everyone has value.
It means both escape and connection—with the people and the world around you, and with yourself.
Being a writer means that there is nothing else in this world you can truly and rightly do if you cannot be a writer.
It means reading the work of writers you admire with a swirling mixture of pure awe and seething jealousy.
It means always writing; always. Not just saying the words: “I am a writer”.
Being a writer means you write. Because of and in spite of it all. Keep writing.