Something happened last night that has made think about the way I define myself as a writer. As you can see from the blog title, I consider myself an aspiring author. I may not consider myself an author yet, but maybe I should consider myself a writer?
To put this into context, I need to explain that I grew up in England at a time when showing off was not something that was approved of. I do not why this was, but it has left its mark on me. I have a deep seated dislike of showing off. I do not have a problem with others doing it. If anything, I envy them. It occurs to me that I really need to think about it as publicizing myself rather than showing off. Oh, and to the people who knew me when I was the younger, brasher, version of me, I no longer have the confidence I once had, or the need to show off has left me as I have matured.
Even as I am thinking what I am about to write, I feel uneasy. I know I am going to mention a few things that I have done recently as a means to point out my own fear of admitting success, yet within this, I am unhappy that I am going to have to come too close to my concept of showing off. Then again, perhaps it is this very concept that I need to change? We may well find out by the end of this post.
I was on LinkedIn and I saw a post that asked about the application process for Fringe Theatre Festivals. I had a rare moment of feeling ‘Hey, I know about that. I can answer those questions.’ So I did answer those questions. In the process I mentioned that I ended up writing a play called ‘The Poe Show’ http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/the-poe-show/ after I posted on Facebook that I fancied writing a play.
Another person (a professor no less) commented later on and asked ‘You did what??? Did you really write a play after posting on Facebook?’
It took me a moment or two to figure out that she was impressed. She asked if I minded if she shared it with her students as they would find it a hoot. I am naturally assuming they will find it a hoot in the positive sense.
Interlude – I am sorry. I am going to stop for a moment and give myself a damn good talking to. I can’t even accept that the students will be positive about this. Back in a sec.
Back. Ok. I am going to write this next bit with gritted teeth. (Drat. If this were a letter, I could make a gag about putting ground teeth into the ink, but such is life in the modern age of technology).
I created an opportunity out of nothing that led to writing a play. I wrote that play in two weeks. The play went on to win a Best of Fest award. I have since been asked to write two more plays as a result of this. A professor thinks this is worth sharing with her students. These are the facts. So why do I feel so uncomfortable acknowledging my successes?
I simply do not know. I do know that I am getting increasingly annoyed with myself for not acknowledging them. So, I am resolved to acknowledge them. I have a feeling like taking bad tasting medicine. I am not going to like it right now, but in the long term, it will be good for me.
Part of me feels that I cannot call myself a fully fledged author until I get a book published. I mean no disrespect to anyone who has written plays and had them produced. You have every right to consider yourself a writer, but hey, this is my blog, so it comes with my issues and insecurities.
Wait. Ah goddammit. I just realised I am being an idiot. It is the difference between my concept of being an author and being a writer that is the problem. I do not see myself as an author, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore any success I have with my writing. Ah, a revelation. That felt good. I can call myself a writer and not feel (too) bad about it. (Hey, it is all part of the process right? I can’t it 100% right straight off the bat).
Well, that was an abrupt ending.
I do feel better though. I hope this post can make someone else feel better too.
Take care buddies,