I don’t write. Can I still call myself a writer?

This is very interesting statement. A paradox in its literal translation, the negation in first sentence do implies a logical answer to question, but I still want to elaborate this and offer some additional thoughts.

Many of you know that Business in Rhyme has been established two years ago. With over 600 published posts, this spring it went into more professional realm, hence it coincided with injury of my right arm and deprived me of regular writing for many months. It forced me to somehow reinvent my routine and opened doors to additional possibilities and projects. The truth is also, that I at the moment enjoy other things besides writing (like my renewed interest for astrology, cosmology and nutrition) and I often ask myself: “Am I really a writer, can I call myself a writer since now I can go for days without writing – at least not in the form I am used to?” It’s not only that with my coaching and other projects I have less time for writing, but sincerely I don’t have that urging need to write. Being that poetry, for blog or journaling. However, I still do believe in all the benefits that writing can bring you. But what to do when you simply don’t feel like writing? And I don’t mean for a day or two, but it can go literally for months! Are you still a writer? One thing I’m certain in my case is that eventually I will go back to regular, full time writing. How will that look like? I don’t have answer to that question.

The truth is, that every action and experience you gain in your life is material for your writing. So you don’t feel like writing? That’s ok. Don’t hit your head against the wall. Don’t blame or push yourself if it doesn’t come naturally. But probably in your spare time you are reading, you are doing research (like I do at the moment). Real writer not only writes. He does everything in between that will enrich his story, poem, novel …He lives. When you consciously put yourself to be active participant in your life, not dwelling on the past or getting worried about the future, you are like an antenna receiving all valuable information that becomes raw material for anything you want to write. There is no wasted moment. It can’t be. You and your perception unfolds in the same manner as life which you are essential part of. And that becomes unique ingredient which moves your writing from ordinary to magnificent. No minute is wasted.

Many of you are also acquainted with my preference to quality over quantity.  Instead of wrestling with words you don’t like and find unsatisfactory, simply stop. Listen. Bring yourself to present time and feel what you would like to do. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend. Take a break. Even if it takes you months to find words you like, adore, that are strong enough and convey what you want to say.

Friends often ask me did I get tired of writing or do I have a ‘writer’s block’. I don’t think so. But there we can create like gaps in our routines, activities and the way we spend our time that somehow (at least in my case) we have need for something different in order to be pulled back to what we love. So I’m using this my pause in regular writing as an opportunity to remind myself why I love and need writing, why I am writer.

I hope that this will help also anyone of you who are maybe struggling with writing and are indecisive about their writing goals and direction. Just listen to yourself, you have the answer within you. You are a writer if you decide to be one. No number of pages or published books will tell or prove you that. Only you can.


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12 Comments

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  1. Great post! I am writing intermittently at the moment, as I have a lot going on in my life. I think there’s all sorts of writers, and writing blocks happen to everyone, as does life! I’m actually finding a lot of fulfilment in art, I’m not an artist, but have decided to do an introductory drawing course. Can’t wait! All the best to you.

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  2. Sage words. I remember attending a reading by the poet Jane Hirshfield, and during the Q&A she talked about the time she went five years without writing. She said, “I was a poet who didn’t write poetry.” What she was saying was being a poet meant in part seeing and experiencing the world as a poet, regardless if you put pen to paper. It was to have a poet’s sensibility. The same is true for those engaged in other art forms.

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