I Am A Writer

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?”
― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

I gave my first public reading today. It was nothing big. I won a writing award from the English Department and I got to read a small part of my personal essay at the Award ceremony. It felt amazing being up there in front of that small group of people. I thought I would be nervous and I was a little, but the excitement overrode that. There is something about letting your words out into the world, watching them washing over people and seeing people react to your words that’s simply magic.

It feels amazing to have people react the way you were trying to get them to do when you were editing. They laughed in the right spots and the atmosphere of the room changed when we got to the parts where I wanted them to pause and think. Then when I said that last line which is the heart of the essay, I saw it in their eyes, that recognition of a human truth that transcends the essay.

In that moment I felt like I was 10 feet tall. It didn’t matter whether they thought I was a good writer or not. It didn’t matter that I still consider that essay a work in progress. All that mattered is that I let my words out into the world and they actually had an effect on people. In that moment, I wasn’t thinking I want to be a writer. In that moment I said to myself “I AM a writer.”

I wish I could put that feeling in a box, so that I could pull it out and let it wash over me whenever I doubt whether I really could be a great writer. One day I’ll have a book with my name on it and that will be something to carry me through the doubts. In the meantime, this blog post will just have to do.

I hope I never forget this moment, never forget this feeling and never forget this hunger. And I hope I never forget this excitement at knowing that I’m at the very beginning of making my dreams come true.



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