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You're Probably Not A Writer

There's something that really bugs me:

It's advertisements for "how to write your book" or "how to get your book published." Oh, and the tag line "you have a book in you..." really makes me crazy.


It's not I want to discourage people from writing but writing is this odd task that because we all do have to write at some point in our lives, we can be lulled into thinking we ARE writers. That's like saying because I can walk, I am a sprinter.

You are born a writer.

I was a writer from before I knew I was a writer.

A published writer?

That's a whole different breed of animal.

But long before I was published, I wrote.

A lot.

Like all the time.

I couldn't not write.

When I had jobs I hated or bore me, I'd go hide in a bathroom stall and write.

On my first grade report card, my teacher mentioned my writing-propensity.

I'm not bragging!

I'm just saying, when you are a writer, you know you are a writer. You write all the time. You can't not write. Now, whether or not you become a published writer, that's something all together different. But when you are a writer, it is in your DNA.

And when you fantasize about writing a "best selling" novel? When you see yourself signing copies of your book or being selected for Oprah's book of the month club? When snippets of ideas pop up into your head and you think, "that would make a good book?" You may not be a writer - just human.

I say this because there is so much out there competing for our time, attention - money! It whispers at your secret thoughts or daydreams. It lures you into spending your money and time chasing a dream that may not really be yours. It's not just paid-for-writing programs I'm talking about. Have you seen those ads for workshops on "how to flip a house?" You know why successful house-flippers are successful house flippers? Because they love everything about the process. The hunt for properties; the negotiating; the 'what-the-hell-did-I-buy' realization; the contractors; the messes; the pressure. They love it ALL. But the ads for the workshops? The ads just focus on, appeal to human nature's tendency to desire to make money relatively "easily" and "quickly."

If you're a writer, by all means write.

If you're a house flipper - flip houses.

I'm not here to say "don't."

I'm here to say just make sure the dreams you are pursuing are really yours.

Look, who hasn't heard the Wimbledon announcer in her head as she swung away at a tennis ball; who hasn't imagine the narrative as she cuts up a chicken breast for dinner; who hasn't been at Madison Square Garden as she belted out a song in the shower; who hasn't at least once imagined herself accepting an Oscar or Tony or Nobel Peace Prize?

Who hasn't sat a desk at Barnes and Nobel and signed copies of her book for her adoring fans?

We all go there (or at least I hope you do) to these fantastical imaginings of the most fantastical realizations of success. And there is nothing wrong or bad about that. I mean, I can barely cook spaghetti and yet my mind just can't help turning me into a master chef on tv whenever I'm cooking or baking something.

Dream. Fantasize. Pretend. Play.

But also be true to what your own unique skills, gifts and talents are.

And yes, you DO have your own unique set of skills, gifts and talents.

If you don't believe so...

If you think there is nothing "unique" about you...

Maybe you have spent too much time listening to the folks trying to sell writing programs or house-flipping workshops.

Maybe it's now time to listen to you.

Maybe it's time to drown out all those voices so you can hear the voice within you.

Right after you hit the winning shot at Wimbledon while preparing chicken-cordon bleu at the table where your signing copies of your best seller.

Wink, wink.

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