Last night, my theater arts class put on an evening of monologues for the Deans and for anyone else who wanted to come. The turnout was actually amazing, especially considering what we were expecting it to be. Among the audience members was one Professor Hardspeech. Her name is not actually Professor Hardspeech, but she teaches speech class and her class is supposedly extremely difficult so, therefore, she is Professor Hardspeech. I, however, had never met Professor Hardspeech before last night. I had never even seen her before. So when she showed up to the evening of monologues, I had no idea it was her. Well, okay, I had an inkling of an idea, but I didn't really know. Besides, someone's grandmother had come, as well, and I kept getting the two mixed up. So after the performance, Professor Hardspeech (though I still did not know it was her) came over to me and asked me what it was that sparked the idea for my monologue.
"Why did I decide to write my monologue about writing?" I repeated, a bit hesitant. "Er...well, we were told to write about something meaningful to us and...I'm a..."
Say it. Just say it. Say 'I am a writer.' SAY IT!
"...and I am a writer, so..."
Why? Why the sheepish grin? Wasn't I proud of being a writer? Shouldn't it have filled me with joy to say such words? Why was I feeling out of place?
Moments later, when I learned that the woman was, indeed, Professor Hardspeech, I felt even more out of place.
But why? Why should I be embarrassed about telling people I'm a writer? It's the truth...isn't it? Why should it be so difficult for those words to come out of my mouth? I. Am. A. Writer. Three one-syllable words and one with, gasp, two syllables. So why did the words feel so foreign on my tongue?
Is it really so difficult for me to define myself? Is that what it is? I guess it might have something to do with the fact that by speaking the words I am a writer, I am effectively giving myself the title of, well, Writer, and I guess I just feel rather pretentious doing so. Because I'm not really a writer. I have nothing to show for being a writer. Its more like I fancy myself a writer. And by speaking the words out loud to another human being - and to a professor, no less - I am publicizing my very personal, inner fantasies. The secret is out. I am revealing a part of my soul.
But yet, I want to be thought of as a writer. Why does it have to be so difficult to say four simple words?
I am a writer.
Well, aren't I?