Definitions. I hear them tossed around everywhere. What really defines us? And of those definitions, which ones do we really live up to? Do we really bare the essence of every cross that each definition gives us?
I am a Daughter
I am a sister
I am a future wife
I am a writer
I am an Appalachian State University graduate
I am cat lover
I am a friend
I could go on. But what do those definitions mean? Do those definitions mean the same for each person they could describe? I’m sure somewhere out there there is another individual with the same definers as me. Would they be just like me? I’m certain they wouldn’t be. What makes us different? Is it the combination of all our definitions that make us unique? Hardly, I’m sure. I am baffled sometimes by the many things that could define me. But do they? Do they really make me who I am?
For instance, one of my definitions is that I’m a writer. Well, I write. Does that really make me a writer? I haven’t been published. I’m not even sure anyone ever reads what I’ve written. I’m also unsure of how my pieces would hold up against another writer’s pieces. When I read novels, I find myself thinking that my stuff could really compare–but could it? Who is the judge? What makes someone more successful than another? Is it really their talent, or does the saying always ring true: It’s not what you know but who you know. I sure hope not. Because I certainly scrape the bottom of the barrel as far as that goes. All I know is my computer and my thoughts. Who am I to be someone worth knowing? What makes a good writer, really?
I can put sentences together, certainly. I have creative thoughts sometimes. I can relate to others on occasion. I write from my heart. But does any of that really matter if no one is reading my stuff? Who would want to read it, anyway? Do I even have the potential to have an audience? Certainly, every person who has dreamed the same dream has once had these same thoughts. What makes you stand out?
Do I have what it takes? Do I have a thick enough skin to face the rejection? I remember leaving class after one of my workshops swallowing back tears until I was behind the safety of Jonathan’s heavy truck door. I threatened to change my major, almost certain that I would. I was misunderstood so terribly that I couldn’t even remember where I was originally trying to go. You know, I never touched that story again. I let it be a failure. I gave up on it. I almost gave up on myself. I was never going to be like the rest in my class. Sometimes it’s hard to be in a major where you stick with the same twenty kids from start to finish. You watch your classmates grow and mature in their styles, only getting better. And you have to question yourself if you’re just standing still. Were they the appropriate audience for me? Were they judging on taste of content or the actual authenticity of my writing ability. Maybe I’ll never know.
I wonder if I can do it all on my own. Is that even possible? To write a novel from start to finish without the help of an editor or agent steering you in the right direction. I feel like I’m shooting in the dark. I have terrible aim.
I guess all I can do is keep trying, right? I’ll just have to keep working hard and hope that one day it will matter. Maybe some day. Just maybe.
What defines you really? You can be anything you want. Be it.