When writers first start out writing they tend to concentrate on all the wrong things. The big question always seems to be: Do I have talent? This is followed closely by: How do I get an agent? When I was a new writer I also agonized quite a bit over these things. It’s very normal. Whenever a person begins to truly take risks and follow their passion, the first challenges to surface are always questions of self worth and approval from others.
A few years ago I was sitting at a café with a friend when another guy walked up and started talking to us. My friend knew him and conversed with him for several minutes. When the guy walked away I asked, “Who was that?”
My friend’s reply: “Oh, just a writer.”
I sat there stunned for a second or two, not sure why I was feeling what I was feeling. Finally, I blurted out, “What do you mean just ? Why did you say it like that?” I was slightly hurt and a little bit angry and I had no idea why. My friend looked at me, confused. He considered my questions and then asked me, “What does ‘writer’ mean to you?”
All of my life people have described me as intense. My family, my friends, perfect strangers that I’ve met at parties. I’ve been known to get really excited about a topic—like REALLY excited—without noticing the person that I’m talking to is backing away from me and trying to get out of the room. Don’t get me wrong, my intuitive people skills are usually pretty good. But when my creative faculties are triggered, everything else flies out the window.