You Want to Be a Writer? Act Like One

These past few weeks, the entire month of February, has been strange for me. I had a tonsillectomy on the 31st of January and practically all of February was spent in bed recovering, or scrambling to get homework done as my semester for my bachelors program was winding down.

Yes, I know, I’m excellent at scheduling things and procrastination.

This strange time warp (thank you liquid Lortab for keeping the pain at bay and helping me catch up on much needed sleep, even if the nightmares were terrifying) left little time for me to write, and write coherently.

I was back at work for three days before this first cold whammied me into another week of bed rest. But it gave me a little more time to think and process, and yes, write!

I’ve been listening to a few new podcasts lately, all about writing and being a writer. There were a few that talked about whether or not a writer can call themselves a writer and what the criteria was or should be. Should you have a book published? A famous column in a newspaper? Can you be called a writer if only one other person, or no one has read any works?

I have always called myself a writer. I’ve started and finished several novels, short stories, plays and poems, not to mention blog posts and forum posts here and there. As far as I am concerned, I am a writer.

But over these past few months, I haven’t really been acting like a writer. I haven’t had that drive to finish something, or post something, or even think about writing in the least.

I am very pleased to say that today for the first time in a long while, I pulled out a short story that I wrote years ago and edited it. I’m not going to lie, I struggled to get motivated, to actually edit and not get distracted by the internet, or flash games, or more podcasts and posts about writing, but once I got into it and started, it was much easier.

I am a writer, and I am going to act like it.


#29: Dead Plants

She keeps the dead plants in their pots to remind her that she’s still living.

They’re dead and dried and curled up on themselves, but they remind her that even in the best conditions, things just die anyway.

She looks at the dead plants on her window sill and remembers to live her life to the fullest, never letting fear or inadequacy scare her.

She breaks barriers, and creates without question.

She lives, but the plants, just like parts of the old her, are still dead.

#27: Binoculars

He uses Binoculars because he is afraid to touch her. He’s afraid to talk to her, to face her head on. He’s scared because he fears she will laugh at him, reject him, avoid him.

He wants to talk to her, but the fear swallows him up whole. He finds that he likes watching her from afar.

The way she carries herself when no one else is watching. How calm and comfortable she is when no one else is around.

He wants to touch her, but she’s too far away.

Until she’s banging on his door at three in the morning.

#26: The Tree is Still Up

Dear you,

I drove by the park where we used to hang out after school. It’s been years, but the playground is still standing, the rust crawling up from the sand and eating away the paint. The benches are still there, cracking with age, splintering away more and more with each rain.

The tree is still up. The same tree where we carved our initials in a jagged heart. The same tree where we shared our first kiss. The same tree where you told me you were leaving.

It’s still there, and I’m still here.

Where are you?

#25: XXX

The list in her hands was old. The page crumpled up multiple times, as if shoved into a pocket or a fist several times. The names were scribbled in a quick scrawl, the red X’s across them a sign of something.

“What is this?” She asked, gazing up from the list at the man in uniform before her.

“A hit list,” he said, adjusting his belt around his hips. “My boss wants me to keep you safe and these men are–” he let a brief smirk cross his lips, “–were after you.”

She put her hands to her hips. “Obviously my father doesn’t think I can take care of myself,” she said, unsheathing the knife from it’s place at her hip. “But he doesn’t know about my list.”

Ten minutes later, she placed a red X over his name.

#24: The Gambler

He rolls the dice in his hands like they mean something to him, blows on them like they really are hot between his palms, says prayers in as many languages as he knows, as if he believes in all those higher powers.

It still isn’t enough and he loses his gamble with Death. Not with his own life, of course, but with hers.

“There’s nothing else we can do,” The doctors tell him, but he sees the dark cloaked figure staring at him from the corner of the hospital room.

“Double or nothing,” he whispers as soon as the doctors are out of earshot.

Eyes with more life than he has ever seen behind that dark cloak stare back at him, alive with a curiosity.

He follows his usual protocol and rolls.