Anyone can come up with ideas, a few will even try to execute it, but the difference between an idea and a complete work is a vast gulf of effort and pain. Crossing that gulf is what separates the writers from those who can’t. Or don’t. Or won’t.
Or that has been my case, anyway. For years, I struggled with this idea of identity, whether or not I was a writer, for years, I wanted someone to tap my shoulder with a pencil and say, “Yes, now you’re a writer.” When I got stories into magazines, it wasn’t enough. When I had a play in a theater, it wasn’t enough. When I won a singular award from among thousands of stories, it wasn’t enough. And when I told this to someone, they blinked and shook their head. “You’ve arrived,” they said. “This is it.” But I didn’t believe it.
And now, it has been years in this malaise, struggling to self-identify as a writer and being unable to do so. Toying with ideas, making notes, creating elaborate outlines for books that don’t get written. Jotting a sentence or two every few days for ideas that would be brilliant if they were stretched out into stories, but it doesn’t happen. And now, I’m not a writer, I’m someone who thinks about writing, who wants to write, who dreams about it, but does anything but fucking write.
It gives me great pleasure to know that a small anthology I put together with a friend of mine is finished, and is under review with Amazon, and in a few short hours, I will be able to share a link to it. I’m done waiting for other people to tell me that I’m a writer.
If I’m the boss, then I demand a story from me every month, on the dot. Get to work.