Am I a writer?
I haven’t published in over a month, my journal is out of date, my reading neglected, and my next novels languish as half-written sentences and outlines.
Yet I have the gall to tell people I meet that I am a writer.
I give the usual excuses for not placing pen to paper and not opening the computer: I’ve been busy lately; I’m working full time and moving; and, I do think about my stories all the time.
Am I a writer if I neglect my writing in favor of thinking?
I’ve heard that Milton dictated Paradise Lost and never inked a quill; that Joyce spent days thinking over a single sentence; that Austen thought works into being that are subtle critiques of her society. They are called writers, so maybe a Writer is someone who cares for their language and thinks before they pen.
I wonder if they feared to disturb the Universe?
Am I writer if I let life and fear prevent me from writing?
When faced with the uncertainty of the future I find my pen quaking and futility sprawling across my pages. The Universe is far too vast to be disturbed by the symbols of my small ideas, and the marks a mortal leaves are faint, washable things.
Even so, after a while I find my muse nudging me back to the pages and urging me to record her stories and poetries, and to form a linguistic image from the material granted me.
“Silence is a call to reflect” she tells me, “neglect is a chance to care, and forgetfulness the moment to remember.”
I am flawed and inconsistent, but I am a writer.