A writer is a person who writes.

If you have ever composed a post, but were afraid to hit the PUBLISH button because you were scared to be the next laughing stock, then this post is for you.

This post is for you if you have ever started writing a book and stopped half-way because you felt it didn’t make any sense.

It is also for you if you are a writer, but prefer to call yourself an aspiring or upcoming writer, because you feel you are not there yet.

Before I delve into all of these, let me tell you why I write.

Why I write.

I write because it’s one of the many ways I know best to express myself. When I have a lot of thoughts in my head, I ease myself through writing. It’s just like going to the toilet when your bladder is full. I bend over and begin to scribble my thoughts on paper, or slam my fingers against my phone or laptop.

I use writing to paint a perfect picture of my thoughts. I mean, you can literally see my heart through my writings.

Moreover, writing makes me feel like a creator. This is especially true when I write short stories or fiction. I can create a world of my own – with my own characters – and I decide how and who I want them to be. Sometimes, I find myself apologizing to my characters when I want to add a twist to their perfect lives.

Funny as this may sound, writing helps me appreciate how God works in our lives. When I weave the good, the bad and the ugly experiences into a hero/ heroine’s life, in my stories, I know I’m not doing it to make them give up or become weak. I’m doing it to make them stronger and bring out perfection from their imperfections.

Sometimes, I laugh at my characters because, as their creator, I already know the end of the story. And, of course, no good story ends with the defeat of the hero/ heroine. As my Naija people say, “Actor no dey die for film.” The bad and ugly experiences usually get resolved in the end – except it is a tragedy. So, writing helps me see myself as God’s masterpiece – a heroine acting out the pages of literature that God himself has written.

The best part for me is that anything is possible in writing, and there are no limits in the mind of a writer. A writer can create events that were, that are, and that may never be. When I write, I can posses the body of a character and I can wield the power of my imagination.

I get excited when my readers are excited and emotional after reading stuff that I wrote. It simply tells me that I did a good job. Hence, writing is the shoes I wear to enter into my reader’s minds.

As cliché as this may sound, I write because it is therapeutic and a way of escape. I once came across this quote, “writers don’t get mad. They just write you into their next novel (as the victim)”. Ha ha! I would add that that is a very great way to get away from anger, revenge and related emotions.

Who is a writer?

A writer is a person who writes. Simple. Just like a farmer is a person who farms, a teacher a person who teaches, a painter a person who paints and a driver a person who drives.

If you can’t stay a day without writing, you are a writer. If when you are anxious, nervous, or angry you want to write, you are a writer. If when you sleep at night you want to write, and when you wake up you still want to write, you are a writer. If you feel awkward when you haven’t written anything for days, you are a writer.

Aspiring and upcoming writers.

I have heard a lot of people say, ‘I am an aspiring writer’ or ‘I am an upcoming writer.’ What exactly is ‘aspiring’ or ‘upcoming’? An adjective you use to describe yourself because calling yourself a writer would look too much of a responsibility and you wouldn’t want to disappoint people’s expectations of you?

The words ‘aspiring’ and ‘upcoming’ both mean about to, nearly, or almost. You are either a writer or you are not. You cannot sit on the fence. Therefore, you cannot be an ‘almost’ writer.

‘But I’m not an expert. I’m still learning the ropes,’ I hear you say. And that is totally fine.

Assuming I put two people in a room: a 90-year old and a newborn baby, and I ask you, ‘which one of these is a human being?’ What would be your response?

Crazy question, right?

The truth is, the 90-year old is not more of a human being than the newborn baby, and vice versa. A baby is as much a human being as a 90-year old, despite the fact that the 90-year old has more years of experience than the newborn baby. The same is true for a newbie (note, I didn’t say aspiring or upcoming) writer.

You may be a newbie writer, but you are still a writer. However, the onus lies on you to bridge the gap of inexperience, sharpen your skills, and become the expert that you dream to be.

I will conclude with this quote:

“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has an amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”

– Junot Diaz, Professor of Writing and winner Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 2008.

If this describes you, I want to you to say to yourself – right now – “I am a writer.” Keep saying it until you mean it, and until every part of your being accepts it. Say it until you feel comfortable to tell someone, other than yourself, “I am a writer.”

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