Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm a Writer

To you, this fact may be obvious. Online, writing is what I talk about most of the time (at least I try to- I'm easily distracted). Out in the "real world" though, this is completely different. I only talk about my writing with close friends and family.

So, last Thursday, when I had to give a speech in my Public Speaking class and I chose to talk about writing, I was a little nervous.

Okay, way nervous.

It's not so much that I can't talk in front of people. That I can do. I was just worried how my "audience" would react to my speech topic.

For the speech, we had to choose a quote we liked and then relate a personal anecdote to that quote. The quote I chose comes from Charlotte Bronte- "I'm just going to write because I cannot help it."

For the anecdote, I tried to pinpoint the moment I decided to become a writer (it wasn't easy). When I was in fourth grade, I remember writing essays about something or other and then reading them to the class as a form of peer revision.

After I read my essay to the class, my teacher took it from me before any of my classmates could comment and gave it the highest grade possible.

Considering I was nine at the time, this was a really big deal for me. It was a really big confidence booster.

I thought "Hey, I'm kinda good at writing. Maybe I should do it more."

I couldn't really tell if my Public Speaking class was interested in that anecdote. It felt personal to share with a room of relative strangers and my nerves started to get the better of me when I didn't get any reaction.

Then, knees shaking, I quietly mentioned "I've written two books and I'm working on a third."

Instant interest.

So, who was the last person (or large group of people) that you told you are a writer? Do it if you haven't lately. I was in a writing slump for days and after my speech I was encouraged to get back to it.

I'm a writer!


inthewritemind said...

Sounds like we both had confirmation recently about our calling. :)

The last person who confirmed to me that I was a writer was actually an agent. One that I didn't even contact. She contacted me through my blog (left a comment on my 'project and goals' page) and I didn't see it initially because it got routed to my spam filter.

Anyway, long story short, her short comment telling me how she was very interested in my novel ideas and would like me to query her really told me that my novels do have promise, even though I may not see it.

It's interesting and ironic how we both had such encouraging experiences over the last few days.

C. Michael Fontes said...

I recently had a speech class as well... I had to pick a topic for the final speech, and being the brash yet just individual I am, I chose to talk about how the absence of a father ruins childrens lives. I too, was nervous ;)

As far as telling someone I was a writer, I recently told my grandfather, the person who inspired me to write in the first place. He was ecstatic! I even printed up a short story (in like size 60 font) and mailed it to him so he could read it! It felt so great to share that with him!

JEM said...

I know exactly how you feel! I have this concept that I'm not allowed to call myself something unless I've made a profession of it. So I discuss my writing with the Partner-in-Crime, but keep pretty mum about it with everyone else. I'm hoping I'll have a physical copy in my hands to show someone one day when they ask what I do :)

Sarah said...

I love this post. I haven't heard the Charlotte Bronte quote before, but I am writing that one down. I've told more people over the past month that I write than I've told people my whole life. And the sum total is still less than you would think.
I'm so proud of you for telling them you write. Such a scary thing to do.
But you can think of it as practice for sold-out book signings!

Blueprint said...

Wow! You are a really good writer! And i love that quote! I am also a writer (:

Melissa said...

Way to go! That must have been very difficult to do - I'm not sure I would be able to confess that I'm a writer to a lot of people. At least not now. I feel like I need to have at least one book completed before I do that.

BTW, I have an award for you at my blog;)

Jonathon Arntson said...

The last time I had to tell anyone was earlier today - at my new job, the gas station. My coworkers just bobbed their heads, like 'uhuh...'.