I used to say that I am a “frustrated” writer. I have been proclaiming that since people started asking me what I want to be when I grow up. It has been my introduction of sorts: “Hi, my name is Abby and I am a frustrated writer.” For the longest time, I said it with such conviction – it sounded… cool. As I got older, I began to detest the adjective more and more. It was only last year, however, that I decided to not associate my being a writer with that adjective anymore.
Somehow, saying that I am frustrated in anything, really, denotes such a negative impact – and that’s something I don’t want to do. I LOVE being a writer. I know how to write so it would be pretty much an insult to consider myself a ‘frustrated’ writer.
But what was the root of that label, anyway?
Since I was 11 years old (I am turning 28 this year, mind), I have had this idea that I will be writing a “life-changing” novel one day. I didn’t really put much pressure on when; I just knew that some day, one day, it will happen. When I turned 18, I have practically written a few novelettes (great achievements, I strongly believed) but nothing came close to being ‘essential’, let alone life-changing. I mean, who was I kidding, right? But of course, I wasn’t about to give up just yet – I was young and I knew that life has so much to teach me.
Fast forward to my 23rd year of existence…
By this time, I have written three novelettes that caught the attention of some literary agents. Some of them wanted to buy my works, but my, my – such poor deals they had for my young, naive self. It’s fortunate that I have a few friends in the industry. They told me that I was being offered crappy deals and that I shouldn’t take them. So, I didn’t. I did not think highly of myself for being noticed by those agents. If anything, I felt a bit undervalued, undermined.
This was also the time when I was holding on such a thin rope (career-wise). My folks were not thrilled about my dream of being a writer. They wanted me to make use of my Nursing license, and of course, that was the only logical option, right? However, I wasn’t exactly ecstatic of the thought that I will not be able to do what I have always wanted to do, and hey, taking a pass on it was the last thing on my mind.
So with all of those opposing things happening in my life, I started believing more than ever that I am just a frustrated writer after all. There’s nothing worse than being belittled by yourself, trust me. So, with my ego bruised and my heart broken, I stopped writing. It didn’t happen in an instant, but it surely did happen, slowly at first, until I just didn’t even try writing anymore.
I did not notice it for the first few days that turned into weeks, but by the time a month has passed, I knew something was missing. I couldn’t pinpoint it yet at that time, but there was something amiss from my life. One day, lightbulb moment, I MISSED WRITING. My mind, heart, and ego had an internal battle that lasted for a few more weeks. Thinking back on those days, I was immature for letting my bruised ego get in the way of doing what I loved to do the most. But there it was, my short hiatus from writing.
Going back to present time…
I know better now than to let any critique get the better of me – especially when it comes to my craft. I am now earning decent money out of writing (yay!) and although it is not the idea I had in mind when I said I wanted to be a ‘writer’, I’m not complaining.
Slowly but surely, just as when I stopped writing, I know that I will get there. I am not going to pressure myself on where exactly, not yet. For now, I will write for the one reason that I always did: to express myself in the best way I could.
Some might like what I have to say, others might have contradicting ideas than mine, but honestly, that’s the beauty of it all. Words are magnificent, especially when used intellectually and passionately.
I am no longer a frustrated writer. I simply am just that, a writer.