Hello readers, this is a continuation of my semi-regular ghost in the post series. Today I have the privilege of introducing Michael Schechter. I met Michael through Gini (imagine that) when he guest posted Five Reason I Lost Readers in 2010. Of course, I had an extremely witty reply and we’ve been bumping into each other ever since. You can find Michael any day at MichaelSchechter.me; please take the time to pay a visit, I know you will enjoy his work.
It feels foolish to call yourself a writer, doesn’t it? Or is that just me? Yet when you find yourself writing with some level of frequency, you eventually wonder if that is what you’ve managed to become.
One man’s opinion, but there is a clear difference between someone who writes and a writer. That difference: hitting publish with consistency. There are some who will disagree, who will say that the actual writing itself is enough. It isn’t. If you aren’t sharing your words with the world, why bother to say that you’re writing them?
The act of writing alone is no small feat. It is damn hard to unravel your thoughts on paper (or screen) and it takes tremendous discipline to examine your own work with a critical eye (still working on that part). Yet it pales in comparison to putting your work out there, to consistently sharing your words with the world.
Don’t worry, consistent doesn’t mean every day, it doesn’t even mean every year. Larger works take time to write, time to edit and perhaps a lifetime to get published. It just means that with some frequency, your writing has the potential to get read.
One of the biggest fears of publishing is the reaction. Sure you might enjoy your words, but what are others going to think? Rest assured some of your work is going to suck. It takes time to get good; it takes time to find your voice. If you can accept that and keep publishing despite your misses, you might be a writer. If these failures inevitably cause you to stop, you simply wrote.
It also takes commitment. Sadly, the words are not going to appear (trust me, I’ve tried). You have to carve out time to write, edit, format and publish. You can’t count on inspiration. More often than not, you’re just going to have to keep struggling through, moving your hands over keys until words appear on the screen. You’re going to have to fight some serious resistance. But that is what it is going to take if, for some reason that likely requires psychological evaluation, you hope to consider yourself a writer.
I’ve always loved writing, but have never been willing to consider myself a writer. I just never gave the work the kind of commitment that the title deserved. Lately, I’ve been stepping up my game and publishing with frequency. It’s gotten to the point where, even if it is just for now, I’m a writer.
How about you? You a writer or do you simply write? Don’t think there is a difference? Then let the debate begin!