Guest blog written by, Kelly Smith
I feel like a fake. Fraud. Impostor. Phony. Artificial. Bogus. I feel I am not a real writer.
What is a writer? I feel stupid at times saying I am a writer because I think my art form is at best, decent. A few months ago my editor suggested joining a writer’s association to get to know editors, publishers, and like-minded people. I looked at her like she was crazy.
”I can’t be around real writers. I am a fake.” I said with a disgusted look on my face. ”They will take one look at me, smell the blood in the water, and know I am not a real writer.”
She wanted to know what I meant. I feel in order to be a real writer you need to be published, smoke a pipe, wear tweed jackets with the patches on the elbows, and be very well read. I am none of those things. Since that conversation I have been published, but with my asthma I can’t smoke a pipe. Living in Texas, tweed is out. Well, I think tweed in general is out, but that is beside the point. And I am still not well read.
The other night I had a similar conversation with someone about what I am expecting from my writing. Somehow the conversation went in the direction of me feeling like a fake. She wanted to know why I felt that way and she wanted a real answer. So I fessed up. I am not the typical writer that loves Hemingway, Jane Austen, or Poe. I can’t quote from age-old books, but I can quote from “Step Brothers”. I have tried to be like the rest of the “writers” and read some classic writings. But yeah no, I am not interested. When someone asks me who I love to read, I answer Jane Green not Austen.
So I feel like a phony when I say I am a writer. I write for me. I write what I feel. It’s not a choice to write, it’s a calling that I can’t control. It’s something I have to do. Many times, as I write, I am trying to stop myself, but I can’t. I have to get my feelings out. I have no choice. So when she asked me who my favorite author was, I took some time to think about that. This morning, on my way into work, it hit me. It hit me who MY favorite author/writer is. I immediately saw her dissatisfaction on her face, in my mind, when it came to me. I am not your typical writer. I have not gone to a fancy college. I have not studied Shakespeare with a room full of Brits. I didn’t study under a famous writer. I didn’t intern at a paper or magazine. I actually didn’t go to college. I hardly graduated from high school. I was in special reading classes all the way through high school. I write what I feel and what I see in my head. I love words. I love to read. I love sitting near books and inhaling next to them. I sleep near them. I love the way the pages feel between my fingers as I turn the page. I love the coolness of a freshly opened book. I love the far away places I go when I read. I love writing. When I write I am someone else. When I write I am alive. I have been given a gift of description. That’s it. So it may not be a surprise who my favorite author is, but I can tell you that I love this writer for so many reasons.
”You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss.
That is right. Dr. Seuss is my favorite. If you read that quote above it explains everything. Is there anything more real than that? In a way it is all you need to know. That quote is freedom. You can actually steer your life in ANY direction you choose. But you have to choose it. YOU. You have the brains, and the power to do whatever you want in your life. You have had it all along.
Dr. Seuss has been teaching us since the beginning. Since we were able to put those magical letters together to form amazing words, and then eventually sentences, that changed and shaped our lives. He has been showing us through color, animation, and rhymes that we can do whatever we want if we want it bad enough. He has taught us we are good enough no matter what we look like, where we are from, or who we are. No matter where life is leading us, we have a Dr. Seuss book to turn to. We all have a favorite. When we read as kids we got one message. When we read as adults we got something totally different and better. Even as a teen mom I read my son Dr. Seuss each night. I grew up on him and my kids did as well. I have learned from his books that it is OK to be me and that it’s okay to like what I like with no explanation needed to anyone.
So there you have it, an uneducated writer who loves Dr. Seuss.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kelly is an up and coming author, living in beautiful Austin, Texas. While being a mom, to 3 amazing boys, she writes of real life; raw and truthful. Along with writing a daily blog, she also writes for the Huffington Post and Elephant Journal.
web address www.thoughtsbecomingword.wordpress.com
Coming soon: www.thoughtsbecomingwords.com