“Usually when people say they wanna be a writer they really don’t wanna do anything except, ya know, eat and masturbate.”
Did I get your attention? The quote above comes from an episode of Lena Dunham’s TV show GIRLS. And while I may know a few writers who match Ray’s candid description, I can’t say I have really come to terms with what a real writer actually is.
When people find out I’m an English major, they usually say something like “Oh, so you’re a writer then, right?” Five years ago at community college, when I declared my major, I didn’t think of myself as a writer. Sure, I wrote a lot of essays in class. Did that mean I was a writer? And later, when I began working as a writing tutor and scrawling lines of poetry or prose on scraps of papers, I still wondered if I myself was a writer.
I knew I wanted to become a writer when I was fifteen. Before that, most of the stories I created remained inside my head. My parents were lucky; my toys consisted of kitchen pots and pans that I used, along with leaves and berries from my backyard, to make magical potions with, or my grandmother’s old jewelry, clothes, and high heels, which I paraded around my bedroom in. But at fifteen, these things no longer seemed appropriate, and instead, I started writing things down.