Sometimes I forget why I’m here. Not in the existential sense, but why I’m at the keyboard. Why do I stay up late and skip gatherings or even meals to get the words down on the page? What drives me to keep writing book after book, to continuously study the craft and the industry, when it would be so much easier to watch TV or hang out with friends?
I tell myself it’s because I’m trying to get published, and that’s hard work. True, but the question I forget to ask is, why do I want to be published in the first place? “Well, because I want to be a writer,” my goal-oriented self says. And then I’m left wondering, what am I now? Goal-oriented self doesn’t have a quick response to that, which gives me the opening I need to take a breath and actually think.
I am a writer. When I don’t write, I’m not happy, not whole. People notice. I notice. I might not have as much time in my day to write as I would like, but I’m still writing. Publishing my works, and hopefully achieving some success with them, is a means to an end (writing more), not the end itself. Remembering this helps me realize that yes, I already am a writer. And that thought makes me happy right now.