Why I don’t call myself a writer

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.
– Anais Nin
Words like this ought to inspire me. But they don’t and it’s not the best feeling. I know of too many writers who can’t get past a day without writing and I’ve been asked if I’m one of those writers a couple of times before.
In all honesty, I don’t see myself as someone who writes to ease the pain or discover the person that they are. Sometimes, I don’t even see myself as a writer. And as much as I hate to say this, I am intimidated by writers who find an escape through their writing. Reading their work utterly devastates me and I find myself longing for more.
To a writer, writing is like breathing, and writing is a reason to live, to stay in this world. It gives me so much sadness, but at the same time, I begin to think that beautiful writing comes from pain.
“I write because I can’t imagine not writing.”
-Richard Price
Sometimes, I feel like I’m only in this for the attention and not for the love of writing. I feel less real, less genuine. Like I’m a waste of ink that otherwise, someone else could possibly use to cure themselves of heartache. I feel like a joke, you know? And I know I could stop writing any day and it wouldn’t feel any different.
To everyone who writes to get through anxiety, depression or childhood trauma, I apologize for being so inconsiderate, for romanticizing your illness even when it’s only in my head. I am overwhelmed with guilt. But you don’t know how much I admire you, and how I know, deep inside, that I would never make it there.
Nevertheless, I’m so grateful everyday that I am a happy person, in every sense of the word. I am the product of a merry childhood and I pray that I would always be able to say that out loud with the biggest smile on my face.
And what’s important to me is the people I meet and grow with, and the relationships that come to stay. I want to touch lives and inspire, but perhaps writing is not the way. Perhaps it’s something else entirely that I haven’t figured out yet.
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78 thoughts on “Why I don’t call myself a writer

  1. Writing definitely is therapeutic…..and it’s absolutely ok if you don’t feel that way. You always don’t need a bleeding heart to write you know😜. If you must write write about your happiness ….your merry childhood and you will be able to bring smiles.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Such a heartfelt post!! i loved reading it. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Really, i am happpppyyy! i look forward to reading more here. BTW, i am with you in sharing a happy childhood and feeling blessed. But we can always write from our happiness —- just as you said you want to and touch and inspire others. Thanks for being here Soundarya! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m with you. I don’t write for therapeutic reasons, I tell a story because It’s a story I know, and I put it down on paper. Don’t feel bad about not being a gusher or a heart-wrencher. I think those ultra personal books are frankly just a form of navel-gazing and don’t entertain. Be a storyteller 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Don’t ever say that! Don’t ever say you will stop writing if that’s what you want to do. I myself write out of pain and trauma but you can write of happiness and joy; write about you know. I don’t judge anyone on what they write about and to be honest reading constant blogs about pain and suffering is emotionally draining. Sometimes I just want to read something that makes me feel good and promotes joy. So please keep writing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so, so much for this comment! It’s exactly what I needed 🙂 I guess sometimes we like reading stuff that doesn’t reflect ourselves. I’ve always been fascinated by sad poetry because they teach me what life really is at the end of the day. Your comment was very thought-provoking 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Your writing matters and this post contains transparent thoughts that even crossed my mind sometimes when it comes to writing. Yet, you are writing for a reason and you share a connection with others alike. I believe you to be a writer because you have something to say and you want to record it! I know for a fact that my sister is not a writer because she doesn’t choose willingly to create words that are blended into art.

    Don’t ever stop, or think about stopping to write! 🙂

    -Stephanie

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Writing can be for entertainment or self-expression. It doesn’t have to be always for therapeutic purposes, although therapeutic can be broadly defined or interpreted. The good thing is we all can write and some of us wish to exercise it more than others. Nothing more needs to be explained. Thanks for the visit and follow.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I can relate!
    But, Soundarya, you do write. Your thoughts, your ideas, your hopes. That makes you a writer! You don’t have to write 24×7. You don’t even have to write everyday.
    You just have to write💕
    (And you’re pretty good at it, too!)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “Sometimes, I feel like I’m only in this for the attention and not for the love of writing.”

    I’ve been struggling with this too! It makes me feel like a fraud sometimes… like I shouldn’t write if I don’t have anything worthwhile to say. But I think wanting to express ourselves through writing is enough, you know? Besides, I always like to let readers decide whether or not they see something they personally find relatable or worthwhile in my posts – you never know when something you think is pretty innocuous will really touch someone. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Wow, this is a really fresh perspective to offer, thanks for putting this out here!

    I can relate to this because I feel the same way about writing at times. Like, I just stop feeling & words lose their meaning. That’s when I resort to art -painting to be specific. These two are the major domains I revolve between when I seek deeper meaning in life.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. If all you read is painfully written prose then yes, I agree. Writing must only be about pain.
    Maybe, one writes for curiosity about themselves, something, an infinitude. With all the writings on love you would think it would curb hate and we’d all live happily. It doesn’t so writing, must be more but also understand it is less. It’s not a Hollywood movie and for the amount of books published versus those turned into movies the chance is small. So. Writing, must take another road. It connects the disconnected and just sits on a page somewhere like an incantation. This person was here and they felt, that. The end. It is the myth of the writer that is glamorous but the words are quite, plain.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You said you want to touch and inspire people well just look at this post of yours ? Pain, love, joy it all inspires writing on different levels. There’s a old quote ” Write what you know ” it’s true and it creates better writing when you write what you know, I know a lot because I’ve been throw a lot but I write what I feel most of the time. So write what you know dear and don’t worry about the rest !!! ❤️✌️

    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I have only just begun to read your work, but already, I disagree that you are not a writer. Being a writer doesn’t necessitate some inner conflict to resolve. It doesn’t mean you have some great weight that you are shedding. It really just comes from a genuine desire to express yourself, to share yourself and your ideas. And I see that in your writing. It is full of heart and meaning. Your meaning. Please keep writing and understand that there is value in all perspectives and approaches.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This comment made my whole entire week 😀 I’m glad I got myself to write this post because without people like you, I didn’t have any hope for my writing. Thank you so much for inspiring me to keep doing what I love. I’m so happy to have found you here 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am so glad that you posted this as well. Every writer struggles with feelings like this… I have questioned my place here so many times. In the end though, I am here to express myself; whether others consider me a writer or not is not the point. That said, I think you will find that people are accepting here, so long as you are genuine and write with your heart. Just be you. That is enough. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. You wrote: “I feel like I’m only in this for the attention and not for the love of writing. I feel less real, less genuine. Like I’m a waste of ink that otherwise, someone else could possibly use to cure themselves of heartache. I feel like a joke, you know?…”

    My reply: Congratulations. You’re a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Soundarya! Apart from the quote you opened this piece with, Anais Kin also once said: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect”. Writing can mean a lot of things to different people and the fact that you wrote a post about not being a writer eventually made you commit one of the most popular tropes writers fall into: ‘Writing about writing’ 🙂

    That makes you a writer, so welcome to the club! Anxieties await you and mental blocks are indeed waiting to engulf you but believe me, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  15. From this one post and the comments below it, I feel that you write to communicate and connect with others. There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to live, breathe, and bleed writing to be a writer. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Sweet young lady, after reading this I have no doubt that you have the skills to be a writer. Perhaps you are preparing a fertile bed of potential for the future; keep churning the soil, aerating it shall keep it healthy. I too was the product of a merry childhood, so I cannot turn to any early demons to inspire me. But life can deal it’s challenges as we proceed, and you are indeed a writer armed for all possibilities. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems rare doesn’t it Soundarya?
        I remember hearing the stories of hardship and childhood trauma over and over from acquaintances and friends over the years. Such contrast to my childhood of warmth, encouragement and love.
        Have a wonderful day wherever it may lead!
        I look forward to crossing paths with you too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It definitely does seem rare. Which is why I felt the need to talk about this here, just in case I’m proved wrong. And I’ve heard about childhood trauma a lot as well, but again, I believe it’s because people who’ve been through that trauma resort to writing, while we might not feel the need to write about our happy childhood. Anyhow, through the comments of this post, I’ve realized that writing is about telling your story, and that story needn’t always be a sad one.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. I love this post, Soundarya. It’s really honest and vulnerable. 🙂 And I think you touch people with that, and with your presence.

    I do love to write. Sometimes I find it painful when it doesn’t flow the way I’d like. And, still I keep at it.
    Have a beautiful week & blessings to you,
    Debbie

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Very nice post, honest and insightful. Everyone who writes is a writer by definition and then there are levels of greater or lower achievement, but we all have a potential. I am not worried about this as I have no literary ambitions. My writing is partly therapeutic and partly joy, also wanting to give hope to others and make them smile as you do. My childhood was a merry one as far as having been so lucky to be born in a loving family. The dark side of my childhood was being a victim of bullying in school, but it made me stronger. Your blog is very nice and I thank you so much for the follow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi! I’m so glad to hear this 🙂
      I’m happy that you had a loving family and a good childhood and I’m also happy that being a victim of bullying made you a stronger person!
      Thank you too for following 🙂
      I look forward to future interactions…

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Wow…straight from the heart, it was. I like you immediately dear Soundarya… perhaps bcoz of your honest words. Obviously bcoz of them. 🤘… You were speaking through your writing…So you actually are a writer. And the best of them write daily even when they feel like not writing. If you were a happy child, spread happiness. Your happiness will reflect in your words. Why crave for pain when happiness is what everyone else is seeking. 👈✌🤘😁😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sundaram 🙂
      Thanks for this comment!
      Being honest with you guys is a way of being honest with myself and I appreciate how you’ve noticed that.
      I know I will come back to this comment whenever I feel like writing isn’t for me.
      So thank you for your kind words 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Why should you even need a reason to write? Your words reveal a bit of you, a bit of your life and a lot of your ongoing journeys of life. Once out of your pen they will trace their way on their own and reach places they are meant to. So please just keep writing. Someone somewhere might find their happiness or their catharsis through your words. I think that is reason good enough to let your words flow..eh?

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Oh come on.. Your post itself contradicts your statements. Please don’t worry, if you inspire even one person then definitely you are a writer. Writer, according to me are those who write their feelings and touch other’s Hearts 💕 , all are writers the difference lies in words. Have a great journey 👍 Good luck

    Liked by 2 people

  22. You know, when I started writing and taking interest to further enhance my skills, even I came across several articles that speak about the importance of writing daily. But, I couldn’t do it and that made me guilty and worried if I would eventually stop writing. But, it never happened. I write when some idea pops up in my mind or there’s a strong emotion that urges me to take out the pen and paper. I guess we all need to find our own truths and have faith that we are growing, just like a tree that grows in all direction, reaching and bending towards sunlight in its own way.

    Like

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