Hello, my name is Carinn and I am a writer

On occasion I look at my kids and wonder what careers they might enjoy (looking for ideas maybe?).

Will he be the singer in a rock band?

I am already beginning to rehearse my pearl of wisdom when they ask me for guidance.  “Find what you love and do it every day.”  Simple yet sage advice, right?  Except it’s damn near impossible to determine, let alone achieve!

You know what I love?  I love writing.  I love finding the words to express the way I’m feeling.  I love telling a story.  I love creating a world from scratch.  I love research and data.  I love finding a point of view.

I wrote hundreds of pages of stories, essays and projects through my school years.   In the past three years I’ve written a business plan, a thesis on the benefits of yoga for fertility, and a screenplay (that sits in a drawer).  These days I squeeze in time to write posts, jot down thoughts in my journal, and brainstorm ideas for novels.

Yet I never consider myself a writer.

Writing doesn’t pay the bills.  Writing is hard.  Writing takes time I don’t have.  Writing requires discipline.  Writing begs for talent.

I’m not great at this craft.  Even if I could start finish a novel, I could never get an agent.  Even if I could get an agent, I’d never be able to sell it to a publisher.  Even if it was published, no one would buy it.  Even if I had a best seller I would have nothing to follow it up.

See, I even have stories to prevent myself from writing stories.

Of course there are those inspiring tales of raging success against the odds – JK Rowling being rejected twelve times, Stephanie Meyer having the idea for the Twilight trilogy in a single vision, or Suzanne Collins having to bite her nails for a few years after publishing until The Hunger Games really caught fire.

Never give up on your dreams — that’s the lesson these tales teach us.  But what if you gave up on your dreams years ago?  What if you already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education that instructed you to be someone else?

What if your dreams are delusional?  Let’s be honest: the Paul Kinseys of the world don’t know they are the Paul Kinseys of the world.

What if this control freak is scared to be in an arena where success appears to be, at least in part, random?

WHAT IF?

WHAT IF.

What if I stopped taking life so seriously?

What if every day I woke up and just decided to write?

What if I stopped needing to make sense of every single thing I do?

WHAT IF!

They say that the first step to overcoming negative behavior is admission.  I admit all of these truths and more.  I admit I am powerless over the need to empty the contents of my brain, my thoughts, my often wild imagination, on paper.  I admit I cannot stop, would not stop, even if it means no one other than Ian will ever be a fan of my work.

So here I stand before you, beautiful people of the interwebs, to admit I have a problem.

“Hello,” I begin, sheepishly.

[Beautiful people of the interwebs say ‘hello’ back]

Hello, my name is Carinn and I am a writer.

 

I just hope this affliction isn't genetic

32 thoughts on “Hello, my name is Carinn and I am a writer

  1. Oh he’ll yes to every word, except I don’t have a business plan. You are no Paul Kinsey but I relate to the fear. Let’s be Cosgrove who gets published. You. Are. A. Writer.

  2. Hello Carrin the writer. I would buy your book. And I would tell friends. And as a fellow blogger, I know it’s hard to realize in the minutes and hours we spend and how close we are to the posts, but, you’re writing your book every single day on here, and it’s a really, really, good one. Keep at it. I listened to an old alum from my college on NPR the other day, talking about University of Iowa’s Creative Writing program – he said “Writers are addicts. We don’t choose to write. We have to write.” Empty the ghosts and such.

    P.S. Show us that screenplay. (Fifty Shades started in blog posts, right?). :)

  3. “Even if I could start finish a novel, I could never get an agent. Even if I could get an agent, I’d never be able to sell it to a publisher. Even if it was published, no one would buy it. Even if I had a best seller I would have nothing to follow it up.

    See, I even have stories to prevent myself from writing stories.”

    I can SO relate to this post. It’s scary to want to do something so badly that doesn’t have a path–no degree plan, no corporate ladder, no map. It’s just you, your words, and the luck of the draw. That’s probably why so many creative types end up becoming alcoholics. lol

  4. I love you! Now please get out of my brain…and do it anyway. Apparently perfect isn’t a thing and judgement is optional…apparently. So maybe, it’s okay to do it anyway…even if you can’t guarantee a hugely successful outcome, even if the exact path is murky and confusing and even if you are unsure of who or what you are if you do it. Maybe, you just do it and you trust that by now you actually know a thing or two about you and what you can do and most importantly, what it takes to make YOU happy.

  5. Well, I hate to break it to you but I think most of us that follow your blog regularly already knew about your little problem – you ARE a writer and a damn good one! :) I love your blog and this post, which in itself is a great piece of writing. I also have some of these same fears and feelings though but I say, go for it! I feel like anything you do or create – art, music, writing, etc. is just so personal for the artist or writer, it’s like exposing your heart and soul with the possibility of it being rejected or feeling like you’ve failed. But, these are the chances that are worth taking! I look forward to reading more from you in whatever form available.

  6. Great post. I’ve recently tried saying to people when they ask what I do, “I’m a writer.” There’s always a look. It’s like no one believes me and/or no one thinks that’s a real thing “to do.” Or maybe I’m just projecting all my insecurities. Whatever.

  7. “See, I even have stories to prevent myself from writing stories.”

    Love this line! I do the very same thing.

    But, you write, therefore you are a writer!

  8. Oh WOW, how this struck a chord with me. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed in the vast sea of bloggers/writers. Discouraged. Irritated sometimes at the seemingly random success of others who don’t even seem to appreciate it. I needed to hear you say confidently that you are indeed a writer, because it validates my writing too (sorry, is that selfish? 😉 But really, you ARE a writer. With a wonderful writing voice. And I am taking in the lesson you shared here, and appreciating the vulnerability that you had to wade through to stand tall and proud. Thanks for being a writer that I look up to :)

    • Yes, I get that 100% Kim. Discouraged, irritated, overwhelmed. That was my point in writing this (at least in part). I needed to stand up and shout it to the world — of course it didn’t stop me from hitting publish and running to hide the rest of the day. Baby steps, right?

  9. I am RIGHT there with you. I desperately want to be a writer – it’s my true passion and maybe, just maybe – my calling. But I’ve got the same “What If’s” that you do – and that’s what keeps me from calling myself “a writer”.

    But you’ve inspired me, so maybe now I will.

    Hi Carinn. My name is Jennifer, and I’m a writer.

  10. Good for you for recognizing what you want to be, and not being afraid to admit it. How many of us are stuck doing things that we do because we feel that we should, or have convinced ourselves that it’s what’s best?
    p.s. you have a thesis on yoga for fertility? Publish that, I know I’d be interested!

    • I did write a thesis on yoga for fertility as part of my 500 hour certification. I often think about making it into a more comprehensive book to put out there. You’ll be the first to get a copy if I do!

  11. My dear friend, your ‘restless curiosity’ is contagious and ever-present in your work. Your writing brings together metaphysics and epistemology. You present fabulous ‘big picture’ contextual human landscapes, while at the same time posing and posting specific ideas and thoughts about how things work, or sometimes how they don’t work out. It’s always a pleasure to read your words. Thank you.

  12. I LOVE your “what if” questions! I want to ask myself those same questions every day and then giggle at myself and start writing. A brilliant post, Ms. Writer! Thanks for visiting me last week and leaving the link to this post. It’s no coincidence I read this today – I needed every word of your pep talk. Looking forward to more!

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