Being a writer is…

I was going to write a blog about writing – but then it turned into a poem.

 

Being a writer is:

About being able to take rejection…

About being able to do something else to pay the bills…

Accepting that you are unlikely ever to pay the bills from your writing,

but carrying on with it anyway…

 

About being able to take criticism calmly and respond

with a crocodile’s smile when they take you apart…

Being able to realise that people often take the easiest way out of,

or into, your piece…

Which is often personal, or seems downright mean…

 

Being able to believe in yourself when others don’t…

Realising that you are not your characters – even

though everyone thinks you are.

It’s fictional. (Usually…)

 

Keeping going even when you don’t win that competition or

your mss is returned unread…

It’s brilliant, it’s true, they just don’t get it.

 

It’s not stopping for lunch

Because you are not at home, but in your head.

 

Being a writer is:

Thinking, I wish I’d written that,

When reading something glorious,

Looking for ways to make yours better after

Reading something glorious…

 

Being able to write through the tears…

Being able to write despite the tears…

Writing something good because of the tears.

 

Writing is:

Thinking.

Planning.

Doing displacement activities.

Editing.

Rewriting.

Rewriting more…

 

Writing notes on any handy bit of paper,

The icy dread when you lose those notes,

The rush of exhilaration and relief when you find those notes.

 

Writing is:

A drive / a compulsion / being human.

Nothing else is real.

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