If I’m honest, I often think of myself as a future writer. I’ll be able to fill that role someday. There are plenty who would say that the first step to achieving a goal is to become it and to think of one’s self as if the goal has been achieved. I would love to and think that I’m a writer at heart but it feels incomplete to say, definitively, that I’m a writer now.
As much as I practice and try to write, I know what I’m doing most often is simple journalling. There’s nothing bad with journalling. It’s a wonderful activity and a great release. It’s a way to privately deal with emotions, thoughts, or situations that were otherwise overwhelming. It’s well worth the time spent on it.
I know, though, that journalling is often not complex writing. It’s not writing that I reread and edit. It’s not meant for the eyes of anyone but my own. And if my goal is to one day call myself a writer and feel like I’m not a big faker when I do so, I’ll need to escalate my writing to a more creative plane. I’ll need to relearn how to write for an audience.
That’s why I’ve embarked on becoming a better writer and phase one is well underway. I am reading more.
All great writers seem to agree that there are two ways to become a good writer: write a lot and read a lot. For years now, I’ve been lacking in both. I rediscovered journalling more than a year ago and have been working on writing here and there for many years. Reading, though, slipped off my list of priorities for a while.
That changed when I got a Kindle for Christmas. I’ve been reading at a much more rapid pace and I’ve worked reading into my daily life. Reading has been something that I always thought I was slow at but I’m realizing I’m not. Sometimes when I read, I get distracted by my own thoughts and that’s the part that slows me down. If I push those thoughts out of my head and dig into the story, well, I can push right through the end of a book, even if it’s well past my bed time.
Many people seem to be nostalgic for paper books and snub e-readers but I love my Kindle. I love the flexibility that I have with my whole library in my purse. I can even purchase and download new books from anywhere, on a whim. I don’t think I would have gotten into reading so easily this year without the Kindle and I’m very thankful for the device’s help in working toward my goals.
It’s amazing how much change can happen in four months to make me enjoy reading on a level that I’m not sure I ever have before.
It’s also great to enjoy working towards the end goal of one day becoming a writer. There will be more work beyond just reading more. I know that. There will surely be more classes in creative writing techniques. There will be tough days when I can’t work out how to say what I want to. There will be tough editors who guide me away from lazy grammatical errors. There will be nights when I’m too tired but write anyway and just as many nights when I stay up late to finish just one more paragraph.
But, I want to be a writer. So I’ll do it.