A friend and I were talking about different social media, which ones we were good at and others we didn’t do so well. My friend then said how she should have been better at Twitter because she was writer. I feel like have been fighting this one misconception about writing all of my life. All writing is not the same.
When I was in the sixth grade my library teacher assigned us a paper to write. When I told her I was having trouble coming up with a subject to write on, she said you’re a writer Christy you can come up with something. I didn’t say it then but in my head I thought, writing a paper for class and writing fairy tales about a land with magic water are completely different. Just because I could do one did not mean I could do the other. Then in high school I had to write a poem for English class. English was my best and favorite subject, but I was not a poet. And yet that same phrase came up again. You’re a writer Christy, you can write a poem. By this time I had moved on from fairy tales to murder mysteries and dramatic short stories. But no poetry. Yet as a writer I was expected to perform and do well. I wrote a couple of passable poems to pass the assignment. One was a tribute to Michael Jordan the other a parody of How do I Love Thee? I really liked the second one and I’m sure I still have it somewhere. Not because it was good poem, but because it was a parody. At that time I wrote a lot of song parodies. I was the Weird Al of the ninth grade. I still have those songs somewhere as well.
That phrase has even followed me into adulthood. A pastor at my church asked me if I kept a journal. When I said that I wasn’t a great journal writer, that I had ten years of entries packed into one small journal and there were still plenty of pages left, she said but Christy you’re a writer. I almost rolled my eyes. I probably did, I can be quite rude sometimes. So when I heard my friend inflicting this phrase on herself, I said being a writer has nothing to do with it. All writing is not the same. So you’re better at Instagram than you are at Twitter, that doesn’t make you any less of a writer.
The key is to know what you are good at and do that. Just because I’m a writer does not mean every single time I put pen to paper I am going to get literary gold. Even the things I am good at takes a lot of time and hard work. I have come full circle and I’m back to writing fairy tales. And while building the campaign page to crowdfund for my fantasy novel, I had to write a bio on myself. When I was having trouble writing it, my aunt said Christy you’re a writer. And that was the beginning of a long argument.