I'm a writer. If you ask me what I do for a living, I will tell you I write. And this is true, I do freelance writing, which earns me a pittance by which I can scrape by sort of kind of. But really, I'm a novelist. I'll tell you this the way a stripper will tell you she's really a singer, or an actress, or something.
I write. I write short stories, poems, novels, just about anything that comes to my mind. I typically always have a journal in my purse so I can jot down some stuff here and there. Every fall I participate in something called National Novel Writing Month, wherein I have thirty days to complete a fifty thousand word novel.
I've done it in as little as ten days. That was this past year, because I was scheduled for a dental procedure in November and didn't feel it would be a good idea to write while hopped up on Vicodin. I already have a habit of spouting off bullshit and trying to eat my own hand while drugged up.
But yes, I'm a writer.
And frankly, I will be the first to admit that we (Writers, I mean) are BATSHIT CRAZY. Go ahead and read that a couple times. We are some of the most unstable people that you will ever meet in your whole life. But we are also some of the greatest pretenders.
I think it was Billy Shakes who said; "All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely actors." I'm sure I'm butchering that, but you get the picture. Writers are the only people that are exempt from this rule. Writers don't tend to participate in these dramas, we are simply the audience.
However, being in the audience, we take careful notes and observations, writing them down, logging them away somewhere in our brains. And we will take all that we have seen and learned, and we will weave it all together on paper and send it out so that the actors might take a breath and take a break from their own Drama to delve into a false drama, and overall feel better about their lives. (Or worse, depending on the writer, actually.)
My whole life, I have never really felt like I was *with* other people. There are exceptions to that, but as a rule, I can feel alone in a room full of people. I can be talking and laughing, and joining in, and I still feel a disconnect. I can be talking, my hands scooping and slashing air, my face animating my story, but in the back of my head; "They don't get it, do they? They're just pretending. They have no idea what it is that I'm saying right now..."
I've been Disconnected, and for a very long time, this upset me. For the longest time, I kept the few people I could Connect to close (and I have a sinking feeling that they were writers or other creative types themselves). And then I discovered that when I put pen to paper, I was Connecting.
I was Connecting with my readers, I was Connecting with my characters, and more importantly, I was Connecting with myself. And though this tangled web of deceptions, loves, losses, I was able to find a better plane to reach out to people. I was able to start feeling more secure in my being and the being of those around me.
Of course, I won't pretend I don't still feel that empty Disconnect. I won't pretend that sometimes I don't feel like I'm floating above all this. Sometimes that's just where I need to be. I need to be between my headphones and in my own world, where there is no one else but those that I have created.
Writers are fortunate enough that--for the most part--we can take out Insanity, our Disconnect, our Separate Worlds and use them to our advantage. We can use this to pretend we are, mostly, stable. And if we have moments where we just seem like we're not okay, well then, we are Creative Types, and what else can you expect from someone who is so far into their right brain?
So yes, I'm a Writer.