Hi all, welcome to the first guest post on this blog ever. I know that I need a better name for it, so please feel free to shoot with the suggestions.
Anyway, everyone, please give Marjorie Rivera, our first brave soul. Her blog, Upwards Over the Mountain, is still really new, but I really enjoy my visits there. So go click on over and say hi.
Without further ado, here's her post....
Hello. My name is Marjorie, and I am a writer.
I’m pretty new to this game, but in my (negligible) experience, writing is much more personal than joining the ranks of a profession or industry: it is a permanent state of existence. On most days, though, being a writer feels like a condition. A condition that must be treated with books, pizza, and Luna Bars.
I’m in the embryonic stage of writerhood. So far, this phase has involved admitting to anyone who will listen that I am a writer, reading blogs about writing to distract myself from actually writing, and wondering if I’ve lost my mind. Two and a half years ago, I was copying down law school statistics in my notebook and stacking myself up against the competition. So this would be something of a career change.
Saying those three little words--I’m a writer--automatically removes any hope I have of ever achieving any kind of normalcy. But at least I can stop worrying about being normal. Or rather, I can stop worrying about pretending to be normal and hoping no one will find out that I’m really not. I’m a lot less anxious about this than I was six months ago.
I’m currently studying abroad in Taipei, Taiwan. I’ve been told I speak good Chinese (by very kind and supportive people). But almost every day, the locals I talk to look at me with an expression of bemused pity: Ah. She’s a foreigner. That’s why she said something about a bumblebee when she meant to ask for the check. I’m getting used to that look now, because I’m going to see it for a long, long time. (Ah. She’s a writer. That’s why she appears to be in desperate need of a hug/pizza/alcohol.) Being a writer does not entail endless dreaming of million-dollar book deals. (Okay, maybe sometimes.) It does mean walking around speaking aloud dialogues of characters in a book you want to write and looking like a crazy person who’s talking to herself.
It means checking the page views on your blog when you should be doing homework.
It means wondering if your mom is the only one who likes your writing.
It means watching people younger than you getting published and wondering if that will ever happen to you.
It means looking at short story you wrote last year and realizing it needs a fifth draft. Probably a sixth and a seventh, too.
It means wondering if your writing will ever be good enough.
And yet, there is a tiny part of you, no bigger than a mote, that believes you can do it. Maybe you can pull off this whole writing thing. Somehow.
For some reason, I’ve chosen to listen to the mote.
I wrote in my notebook for two hours tonight in a diner. (Yes, I have found a diner in Taiwan. It is duly called “The Diner”.) The same notebook in which I wrote down those scary law school statistics and tried to budget my meager funds and pined over boys. I paused to eat apple pie and ice cream and look out at the rain and passersby. The act of taking a page and filling it with words was exactly what I needed to have the world make sense again. It was a moment of Peace and Happiness, and it is one of many other similar moments that have helped me understand why I write: because doing anything else is simply lying to myself.
So, yeah. That novel I’ve been thinking about writing for a year? Totally going to write it. After I finish the Chinese homework I’ve been neglecting for the past week.
Thanks so much for contributing, Marjorie.
Anyone who is still interested can contact me at email@example.com (mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com). I have half of March and all of the rest of the year open...