What type of writer am I?
If someone were to ask me this question, I imagine the quickest and most obvious answer that might spring to my mind is that I am a writer of Young Adult fiction. But, while that describes the type of writing I do, it doesn’t really answer the question of the type of writer I am.
There are many ways I could respond to this. I am a sporadic writer. I am a frustrated writer. I am a struggling writer. I am at times a committed writer and at other times a very non-committed writer. But I think most of all I would have to call myself a closet writer. Now obviously, this doesn’t mean I literally do my writing while sitting in a closet. But over the years I have done most of my writing in ‘secret’.
I have been writing in one form or another for almost all my life, but until more recently only a few people actually knew I wrote. Why? Because there was a part of me that didn’t want anyone to know. I am the kind of person who can be guilty of worrying too much about what others think. What if people thought it was a silly dream to want to write a book? What if they didn’t believe in my ability to do it? What if I let someone read my writing and they thought it was total crap? It was easier to just keep it to myself.
So, it might make you wonder why bother at all then? I mean, isn’t the point of writing so that some day you will be published and people can read your book? Most people who take the time to complete an entire novel do so with the hope of some day seeing their work in print. I’m no different. I want to see the results of my efforts, but at the same time I’m often terrified of the thoughts that someone might actually read what I have written.
I have recently published four Young Adult novels, which are available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The problem is almost nobody knows about them because I have felt too weird about promoting the fact to people I know. It kind of makes you wonder why I would bother doing all the work of writing, editing, formatting and publishing a book that only a handful of people might ever read (aside from the fact that I feel deeply compelled to write and would probably continue to do so just for the sheer enjoyment I get from it, even if I knew I would be the only person on the planet to ever read it).
The answer: I am, and always have been, a terrible self-promoter. I can be very self-conscious, I don’t typically like to be the center of attention and I embarrass very easily. I have always felt weird about people I know reading my books, and possibly not liking them.
I know that not everyone who reads my books will love them, and that’s something I have to learn to accept and be okay with. Regardless of anyone else’s opinions, I know that I have done something I enjoy, I have done my best and I have accomplished a goal I have set out for myself. While my writing may not be perfect, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished.
Today I am taking a brave step forward and telling the world that for better or for worse, (the good, the bad, and the ugly) I AM A WRITER, and I won’t be doing it from the closet any more.