Just Writing

The Only Playwright

booksMy best friend is studying to become a theater teacher. It’s been a couple of weeks since we talked and today I can’t stop thinking about something really profound that she said to me once.

I was doubting myself. Shocking, I know. Me? Doubting myself? What? As if that ever, ever happens! Okay, though, all sarcasm aside, it is something that happens to me a lot. Really a lot. I could delve really deeply into some psychological study and try and tell you why that is, but that just sounds complicated.

I guess that in all of my plans and dreams that I always had about my future, I thought that I’d have a book published by now. I realize that I’m only 20 years old, so perhaps that seems silly, but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I always thought that I’d somehow been given a “head start” that way and that I’d be wasting it if I didn’t have a book published by X age.

I was doubting myself as a writer. Like I mentioned, I’ve been writing since I learned how. And before that I was telling stories. Long and pointless stories that made absolutely no sense. Or at least, that’s what my mom tells me. You see, I started talking fluently at the age of 18 months, and with that came storytelling. I’ve known for a long, long time that one of my callings in life is to write.

But negativity got the better of me that day. I remember sitting in our house with our roommates. Somebody was saying something about the book I was currently working on and I said in a joking way (my way of expressing what is truly bothering me), “I think I’ll just give up this whole writing thing. I mean, there are SO MANY other writers out there! What’s unique about me?” library

She stood there with the play she was reading for class in her hand and said, “Oh, yeah. Because where would theater be if Shakespeare were the only playwright?” She was answering my joking but serious insecurities in the best way. As she always does. She knows I love Shakespeare, and that I love theater. Which is why she chose to phrase it that way. Think about it: where would theater be if Shakespeare was all we had?

Yes, there are so many other writers out there, but there is only one that’s like me. One that’s like you. I have this romanticized idea that I don’t really come up with my ideas for books, they come to me. And if this is indeed true, and this idea did come to me, then who else is going to make it permanent if not myself? There are billions of untold stories out there, words and people waiting to make it onto paper. Every time I look out a window I can feel it.

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