I couldn’t sleep.
My heart was racing inexplicably, and it was keeping me awake.
I had just finished writing my toast for a wedding I’m attending in two days. A wedding in which I, as the best-man, am the toast-giver.
It took quite some time to break through the writer’s block but as I lay in bed, mulling over some ideas I had worked out earlier, words and phrases started to form into ideas. Ideas that needed sentences to make sense, and needed the permanence of a written platform in order for the ideas, the mini-stories floating in my head, to not fly away.
So I got up, and wrote. I finished the toast in, well, I lost track of time, so I actually don’t know how long it took. But it is finished, and I am pleased with it. It isn’t the greatest piece, but somehow it feels like the best piece I’ve written in a while, and I’m about to read it to hundreds of people I don’t know.
Regardless of how good it actually it is, it doesn’t matter. That rush, that overcoming feeling, surged from some unidentifiable place and brought me to my laptop and compelled me to start typing while my hands were hot with a writing fury.
And then I went to bed. I laid my piece to rest, and rested, myself.
Or so I thought. But the surge came again, and here I am, typing away piece number two. A piece that very few will read, if any, at all. And for that very reason I have the boldness to say the following statement: I am a writer.
Yes, I’ve spelled it out, and whispered it to myself a few times, just under my breath as I lay still but restless underneath my covers.
I am a writer.
There it is again. It is a confident thing, to say. This is all daring and fearless, and so, new, to me. But at this moment, at 2:30 in the morning, it somehow makes sense. This isn’t delirium manifesting itself through a borderline gibberish, stream-of-consciousness type blog entry.
It’s something else. It’s the kind of frightening truth that makes itself known to you in the most unexpected of times, because that’s how truth likes to sneak up on us sometimes, in the middle of the night when the lies are a tad muted, and the voices are few. The voice is just my own, or something in me, and it told me to get up and write.
It doesn’t matter how early and late it is. Just write. And when you write, make sure to the write the following words: I am a writer.
Declare it, without fear. Without worry or concern. It is true.
No one is unabashedly claiming this piece to be Pulitzer-prize winning in quality. Certainly not me. Since when have I exuded that kind of confidence in what I write, anyway?
But still, I’m up in the middle of the night, sharing as though I have some sort of audience, needing to divulge this quiet truth that creeped its way into the crevices of my soul that I, in fact, ought to write.
I’m careful to start believing that this ought to be my profession all of a sudden. Writing, that is. How many brilliant writers does the world never discover? I will guess plenty. The many whose names will never be published, but whose journal pages are rife with heartbreaking, honest, human stories, rich and full.
It isn’t really about making the choice to live a writer’s life. That life is being lived by a select and privileged few. And God bless them. What an honor, to be the world’s known storytellers, to have an audience, a following, a name.
I am a writer because I love to write.
And if I love to write, then I ought to write more often. I can’t quite pinpoint what’s held me back before, but I know this much, I need not hold back any longer. What for?
It is less about proving something, as much as it is about learning to embrace my fullest, deepest self. And if I think as though I write, and talk as though I write, and stay up in the middle of the night on an odd evening, awake because of an urge to write…
Then, I must write.
So, here’s to a scary beginning, and to a hopefulness that I’ll only get better.
Stay with me, whatever you are. Please, stay.