How to be a Writer

I’m not a writer. I’ve had thoughts of becoming one, sure, but whenever I sit down with a blank screen to fight out the words, they’re uglier than they are in my head and I never hit publish. Or I lose my focus and wander through a paragraph with nowhere to go. Because I’m not a writer.

I’m starting to notice something, though. Nobody wakes up one day suddenly overflowing with inspiration. You don’t become a writer when you gain enough life experience to have a story worth telling, or when you’ve read enough books about writing. Believe it or not, the only way to become a writer is by writing. You work with what you have, and you write past the ugly, past the lost, until you get something beautiful. Or maybe just readable.

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So this is my opportunity to make writing work. To wrestle with a blank page over and over again. To hit publish before I feel finished. To just get something down. I’ll write with the hope that someday I might look around and realize I’ve actually become a writer.

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