Tuesday, June 5, 2012

15 DAY WRITER'S CHALLENGE | DAY 1 : DECLARE


Yesterday I wrote about joining Jeff Goin's 15 day writing challenge and my reasons for doing so. Today's challenge: Declare yourself a writer. 

The challenge is to declare myself a writer to a person or institution with pride and boldness. Sounds fairly simple, right? Wrong! 

Since I was four years old I fell madly, deeply in love with words, pages, and books. My appetite for books bordered on gluttony and maturity has not diminished that. Because of my love for books I anxiously learned to write as soon as I could in order to create my own beautiful sentences on blank pages. Writing became the source of my heart, my voice, my sanity, and well-being. As a child I created my own clumsy looking books out of construction paper and yarn, adorning it with my crooked letters in various hues from my Crayola box. In my teens and through adulthood I filled the blank pages of my journals with my own heartfelt words. Sentences comprised of scattered emotions, searing pain, innocent love, tainted love, confounded worry, debilitating fear, burgeoning dreams, shattered dreams, names of past loves, scratched out names of betrayed loves, unleashed fury, simmering anger, irrational jealousies, myriad insecurities, deep remorse, serendipitous events, unbridled happiness, and fleeting joy. Writing was my lifeline. 

But I couldn't call myself a writer. 

During the years I was a struggling single mother I attended community college to hone my writing skills and pursue a degree in Literature. Besides photography I HAD to write. My English teachers said I had potential and  one of them, Ms. Thomas,  took the time to mentor me. Unfortunately, attending college and raising three teenagers didn't gel. I never obtained my degree in writing. 

Growing up in my family you are defined by the titles, statuses, and initials attached to your last name. If none accompanied your name then you are worthless in their eyes. How could I call myself a writer if I didn't have credentials to back that statement up? I created my blog because I couldn't do life without having an outlet for my writing but I don't think I ever declared myself a writer in my blog entries. I have a good friend who went to UCSD and obtained the credentials to call herself a writer and she's an excellent raconteur! In my opinion, she has every right to boldly declare that she is a damn good writer. 

Me? I "blog." 

I've hidden behind that term and used it over the years to deny labeling myself a writer. I can boldly declare I'm a blogger but wouldn't dare call myself "writer." 

But today the tides have switched direction. I'm calling myself a writer. I know it's never too late to go back to school to obtain that degree and when I'm not consumed with my photography business I might just go back. 

For now, allow me to bask in the word W-R-I-T-E-R