My friend Loren calls me the readable writer, and what she means is that my writing is easy to read. I take this as a compliment because reading shouldn’t feel hard, it should be enjoyable. Recently, more than a few readers have reached out to me about my blog posts, and I’m grateful to hear from them. One emerging theme is that others have been toying with writing, but are struggling with how they compare to their own ideal of what a writer is.
I have to admit there is a small piece of me that worries when I hear I am a readable writer, because maybe that means I am not good enough. Let’s rewind back to my Declare Yourself post and revisit why it was so hard to introduce myself as a writer. I had a massively polarized view of what being a writer meant, one that held on one side the rich bestselling novelist contrasted on the other side with the poor starving literary writer. My previous attempts at approaching the publishing industry were daunting and seemingly futile, and coupled with my own perfectionist tendencies, this held me back from even trying. Now neither of those pedestals seem like particularly great role models. The facts on the ground are that if you walk into any bookstore, you will see those rich bestsellers, and those poor literary classics, and a whole lot of in between, and only when I began to see this huge gray area was I able to conceive of where I might find a place to fit in. There are all kinds of writers and all kinds of readers in this world. Still, sometimes the doubts linger that maybe I’m not a writer because I don’t have the right education, or didn’t publish in the traditional way, and I don’t speak in fancy poetic language, or maybe I just don’t have the right stories.
So here’s my truth: I’ve got stories to tell and I am skilled at telling them. I’m not going to question my stories, because they come from the universe. I’m just going to tell them in the best way I can.
And I think everyone else should do the same, with whatever they feel called to do, in whatever mode of expression. I consider my writing to be an ongoing conversation with the universe or God or Spirit – whatever you feel comfortable calling it – and it pleases me that readers reach out to me on my blog posts, because that means now they’ve joined the conversation too. There is enough creativity to go around for everyone.
There is a revolution happening now in the publishing industry and because of these changes, I’ve been able to finally grab that brass ring I’ve been reaching for my whole life. I published a novel, and people seem to like my blog. It feels good, and I am grateful to be in the right place at the right time.
Seth Godin says in his blog post today, “The definition of a revolution: it destroys the perfect and enables the impossible.”
Forget the pedestal. Join the revolution.