Right, Write, Writer.


image: kmonadollaraday.wordpress.com

image: kmonadollaraday.wordpress.com

Recently a fellow writing friend said something that really threw me off guard, and challenged me to look at myself, my aspirations and my own self doubts. We were discussing publishing, and I was (once again) struggling with decisions about my novel: how to publish, what direction to go in, whether my novel is ready—whether I am ready, for success or failure. Both are scary. She said to me: “You’re already a published writer. You write and publish a blog every week, and people read it.”  Well, it’s just a blog, I countered. “Just a blog?” she smiled. “You write things each week about your life, things you see in the world, news—all kinds of things, and people choose to read what you write, week after week. It’s really no different than being published in a news paper or magazine, right?” I stumbled on her logic, and found myself denying the validity of this point. My own self doubt causes me to belittle my accomplishments. I deny the successes; I don’t own the gold stars, I earned.

Then, this morning I was reading a post by the blogger Le Clown (at A Clown on Fire),  and I found myself saying the same thing to him with no doubt what so ever. Whoa! I felt my own hypocrisy, even as I hit reply. A week earlier, I was challenging those very same words of encouragement, when they were directed at me. Then, I was saying it with total sincerity to someone else, who I think is very talented, and for whom I believe it is true. It suddenly made complete sense from the perspective of someone else’s (Le Clown’s/ Eric’s) writing, someone else’s success.  It’s always interesting to me, how easy I give that away. Monsieur Le Clown made that very point in his response.

However, even as I sent my thoughts to him, it hit me that if I believe that for him, I should believe it for myself as well. Right? For a moment, I got it. I saw myself post that response, and sat with the fact that I’m Teflon when it comes to believing the same accolades for myself. My own dreams, the things I want so badly, slide away when I don’t own my strengths, and that has to change.

Today, I saw myself hand something to someone else, that I have trouble holding in my own hands. It’s challenged me to see what’s in front of me and examine that truth.  I am a writer.  I love crafting written words and sending them out into the world. I worry about them; I struggle with them. I try to never rush the words, or force them. I bring them together to make something new; and, these stories, essays, vignettes, these revelations are my own, to share or keep to myself. The fact that others read these posts, that others share my words, is something that means a lot to me. When I read comments from people who say that my writing touched them, that my words made them feel or see something new, it’s a beautiful thing, and I feel proud of that. That some of those people keep reading is something that I’m proud of too, because I work hard at this blog. All of us who do this, work to make something that others will find interesting, that will resonate. We publish it (that is what the button I hit says, “Publish”) and we hope others will read it and appreciate the effort. We are writers, and to know our words is to know something about us as well.

image: chakracenter.org

image: chakracenter.org

I am a writer. I’ve written a novel. I don’t know what will come of it, but I’m proud of the effort. I write a blog and I work hard to make it my best effort each time.  Today, I’m claiming the gold star and wearing it on my forehead.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section; I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Tangerine hi-res coverMy writing is also included in the anthology Tangerine Tango, Women Writers Share Slices of Life, edited by Lisa Winkler at Cyclingrandma.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Blog, Blogging, blogs, Daily Observations, getting published, how blogs work, Life, Musings, My world, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Right, Write, Writer.

  1. You’re published in a anthology too! Yes, I feel the same way– does blogging make us writers? Yes!!!

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  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    I know how difficult it can be to call oneself a writer. I finally just forced myself to do it, and as such, I’m calling myself that in my blog posts at times (though I still don’t do so in ‘real’ life). And really, people who write blogs are writers, are they not? There are novelists; there are non-fiction writers; there are journalists; there are screenwriters, and so on and so on. And there are bloggers. They all write. Why is it so easy for us to call others the ‘W’ word but not ourselves?

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  3. I often (like right now) find myself in the same frame of mind. I read the things you write and think, “Wow! She’s a real writer!” Same with Le Clown, The Hook and many others I read. All of YOU are WRITERS.
    Although I have been writing a blog for almost three years and although I have written literally tens of thousands of commercials for radio (and some TV) advertisers, I am NOT a writer. I write stuff. But that doesn’t make me a writer. All you whom I mentioned have a gift that very few people are blessed with – the ability to paint a picture and/or weave together parts of a story into a cohesive unit using the written word.
    Yep.
    You’re definitely a writer.

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    • Wow! Thanks so much… and see, my point exactly. We give it away, when we should hold it in our own hands— at least as often as we’re willing to throw it away. You are a writer too. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and share. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

      Like

    • Le Clown says:

      FL,
      I haven’t read much of you, but I plan to change that. My apologies for not showing more often. I also think this was a courageous comment to write… I used to make a clear distinction between a writer and a blogger, and to me, this line is getting thinner… I won’t hijack Dawn’s thread, but I’ll write more about it soon. And thank you for the compliment. It’s very kind, and made my day. But I’m about to have ice cream, so my day might even get better…
      Le Clown

      Like

    • By the way Fearless… I wanted to comment on 2 of your posts, but every time I typed my response, and hit publish, I got an error message. And, you need to add a Like button. I would have clicked it. 🙂

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  4. Le Clown says:

    Dawn,
    Love this post. I appreciate the self-encouragement, and the notion of doing something no matter what the outcome will be. You should read Beautiful Orange’s latest post on writing… I think you’ll find some recurring themes.

    I for one am happy you are blogging. I am really adamant on the concept of “writing the internet” which I will talk about more next week, but you are one of those who are adding wonderful pages to our world wide web.
    Le Clown

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    • Thanks Le Clown. Your encouragement has been really kind and thoughtful, and much appreciated. I really look forward to your post on writing the internet. That phrase really struck me, from your post today. The idea is compelling, and something I believe in. Thanks!

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  5. Lyssapants says:

    I went/am going through a similar process.
    It kinda depends what mood I am in that determines how I view myself and the blog…..sometimes it’s just a hobby, other times I feel like a “real” writer. I am taking in your self-validation today.

    Like

  6. Hey, you wear that gold star! You’re a good writer and should celebrate all of your accomplishments – blog, anthology, or novel. They’re all big. 🙂

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  7. Oh for heaven sake! These are the facts.
    1. You’re a brilliant writer.
    2. You obviously write from your sensitive, beautiful heart and so, touch the lives of many.
    3. People like, no, love you, they really, really do.
    4. You’re not JUST a great writer on all levels – but more importantly you are a great human being — kind, thoughtful, intelligent, compassionate and always searching for answers. Oh, and your funny too. Bonus points for that. 😉
    And finally,
    5. I’m honored to call you my friend. xoxox

    Like

  8. The Waiting says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were talking directly to me in this post. I am in the thick of the “who? me? a writer?” muck right now. Every single day, I have to reassure myself that I am not prideful or ridiculous for thinking of myself as someone who has words that other people like to hear. I recently shifted gears in my writing and am making a real effort to get published, and it’s so hard to not constantly tell myself, “Meh, you’re just a blogger. Get over yourself and write your cute little posts that your mom likes to read at lunch.”

    Dawn, you ARE a writer. A good one. Strike that; a fantastic one. A novel is nothing to sneeze at. Your blog is pretty dang fabulous too.

    Like

    • Thanks Emily! I so appreciate all of the wonderful support from the writing/blogging community… my peeps. I respect your opinions, and appreciate the love. I do think that lots of us feel this way and there are many issues at play. Hate to pull the sex card, but being women complicates things, I believe. It’s so easy for me to look at each of you, and say: She, he, they are writers… real writers, and then look in the mirror and feel like a fake. I’m curious to hear about your novel (?) and what you’re doing to pursue publishing… I am getting so much encouragement to self-publish (from all kinds of sources!) and just need to decide and do it. I’ve been working with an editor for a while… so it’s time for the next step! thanks again.

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      • The Waiting says:

        I just joined Writers Market and I’m trying to pitch and sell articles to smaller publications just to establish a base. I’m hoping to start outlining a book this summer about my first year of parenthood. I’m not much of a novelist; I doff my cap at you for having a novel in you!

        My husband self-publishes several times a year and he has always been pleasantly surprised with how simple and straightforward it can be! I’m just adding my voice to the chorus of people encouraging you to keep going and pursue it ;D

        Like

    • PS) I did almost call this post: To Emily, Write, Writer. 😉

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  9. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Dawn,
    Your friend (at the beginning of this post) is a very wise woman. Thank you for voicing what many of us feel. I have published in national magazines, but I still don’t call myself a writer. I’m also working on embracing the photographer thing. But you? You’re a writer.
    Cathy

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    • Thanks so much Cathy! Your input is much appreciated. I like the ideas you express and thoughts you share, so thanks for adding to this dialogue. Clearly you have a knack for photography as well as writing! We should have a big blogging meet and greet and share all this good juju! thanks.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Dawn, you should be putting a gold star on your forehead every time you hit publish. You have a gift and I envy that gift. I really look forward to your next post. Keep up the good word. Oh , I mean work!
    D.W. classmate, ’81

    Like

    • What a wonderful support you’ve been DW, right from the start! So positive and encouraging, even when very few people were reading the words… work. Thanks so much! I appreciate the kind words and the friendship. You’re a sweetie! 😉

      Like

  11. Valery says:

    From a non-writer’s point of view it is fascinating to read what you all write. Underline needed here: you all write! It seems so simple. Those who write are writers. Right?

    I don’t have the rule book in front of me, but writers can choose their form of writing, right? Pencil, pen & ink, typewriter, crayon, magic marker, stick in beach-sand, computer, tablet, etc. Also, writers can choose how their work is presented: paper, notecard, Microsoft Word document, parchment scroll, stone tablet, blog, (!!!) Writers even get to choose their audience, more or less (public, private, selected groups, nobody..) Right?

    Oh, but there’s that issue of the quality of one’s writing… Not! I know I’ve read plenty of crap by Writers. So who gets to choose whether or not your writing is good enough for you to be a Writer? Hmmmm, where’s that rule book? 😉

    So enjoy being a writer. Do what you love and love what you do. And you, my friend, are really good at it, so soak it up. Gold looks just fine on you! But whatever, just keep writing ’cause I, for one, will keep reading. That’s… right.

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  12. “For a moment, I got it. I saw myself post that response, and sat with the fact that I’m Teflon when it comes to believing the same accolades for myself. My own dreams, the things I want so badly, slide away when I don’t own my strengths, and that has to change.”

    Bravo!!! I love this. And your love of crafting words comes through in your writing. I am enjoying Tangerine Tango, by the way.

    I don’t know if you have explored/ researched publishing, but a woman whose newsletter I am subscribed too, teaches about what she calls guerilla publishing (keep more of your hard earned $$). She has published a few of her own books.

    Like

    • Thanks Mariner! It’s so nice to hear what resonates with people; I really appreciate the feedback and support.

      I have researched publishing, and have talked to a lot of people, but I’m very interested in anything you can suggest. I’d be happy to check out the newsletter you read. Thanks!

      Like

  13. I’m fairly new to your blog, but your beautiful and heartfelt writing have made me a fan. Writer indeed – and a fine one!

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    • Thanks Renee! I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog, and coming back. It’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. I want my writing out there, and that only happens when people read and then come back to read again! Thanks for supporting my efforts; thanks for supporting me. 🙂

      Like

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