Friday, December 28, 2007

I am a writer

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..."

*sheepish grin*

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?


Scraps said...

Of course you are a writer--and a good one, at that!

But sometimes it is hard to put the view you have of yourself into words. It's long as you harbor it in your heart, it is safe, but as soon as you let it out, you risk the world's opinion. To let the secret out invites criticism, comparison, and a host of other things no one particularly likes to be subjected to.

So I don't think it is so strange you had a hard time saying it.

the apple said...

Agreed w/ Scraps. Esp. w/ s/t like writing, people don't always immediately see how you can be successful or whatever so clearly, so it can be a bit daunting to admit it. But do, do go for it, because writers are so needed and stuff.

Okay this comment no make sense because I no sleep so much lately.

I LOVED your monologue btw, as I have told you.

corner point said...

I completely agree with Scraps. So many times I had some special or prideful thought inside me, and upon sharing it with another person, it sorta lost its lustor and deflated a little. That's why I usually think twice before I share anything that really means something to me...

But if you really identify yourself a certain way, and you don't plan on that changing, why not let the world know? Even if they voice opinions you don't care for, stick your chin up and disregard the lot of 'em.

You're cool.

Keep writing, Writer.

Princess said...

Firstly, Prof. "Hardspeech" (or, as I like to call her, the woman who very strongly implied that she wanted to give me a bad grade because I strain my voice very badly when I speak) is just the kind of person who can make you doubt yourself, so don't be too bothered by that.
Secondly, it is sometimes hard to say that you're a writer, especially if you haven't really written anything yet that you can point to and say "I wrote this." It's always hard to identify yourself as something when you don't have concrete proof. Once you write your first successful book, it'll get easier to say that you're a writer. It just takes time to get to that point.

Anyways, don't worry about it-- it'll get easier to say as time goes on.

Bas~Melech said...

Scraps said it better than I could've... Something changes when you release a thought, so things that are deeply meaningful can be hard to part with...

(Hey, I also had a Professor Hardspeech... but it was a man! Wonder if they're related?! :-P)