This is an especially difficult question. I have never considered myself a writer simply because I write. I find the process of writing extremely difficult. So many blank hours in front of a blinking cursor, so many pieces scrapped before they’ve even been written, and most debilitating of all; so many hours spent telling myself what kind of writer I should be. At the end of all of this psychological zig-zagging, I may produce something I’d want to show to someone else.
More often than not, however, I stare at a finished piece and reflect on the cathartic process it should have been, how other writers feel a sense of fulfillment simply by putting pen to paper. Me? I feel only relief; relief that I have finished something.
I very rarely finish anything. I used to think this was because I had commitment issues, that I was too lazy and too scared to see anything to the end and so I cut myself short before it got hard. These are all things that I reiterate in diary entries that have filled more than 12 journals since I was 8 years old. I realized then that writing has been the only constant in my life.
Writing has punctuated my existence. As pretentious as that may sound, it is the only thing I continue to return to, no matter the length of time between capitalized first letter and semi-satisfied full-stop. It’s hard and always frustrating and I still don’t finish everything I start, but I haven’t stopped writing. I’ve learned that I have things to say. Maybe no one will want to hear them and maybe I don’t want them to be heard, but there are things in me that need to get out and I won’t stop writing until… Well, there’s no end to that sentence, and I suppose that is the point. The point is to keep going even if, and because, you can’t see the end, because you need to, because there doesn’t seem to be anything else.
And that is what writing means to me.