The name I have for myself on my blog is “A Wannabe Writer,” but I sometimes wonder if that is appropriate.
It probably depends on what your definition of a writer is. If by writer you mean a profession, someone who writes for a living, then I guess the answer is no. Yes, I like to write, and not a day goes by without me thinking about writing, but in the end I lack the ambition, the drive and the fire to fully commit myself to this whole writing business. Calling myself a wannabe writer in this sense is an insult to all those others who truly aspire to be a writer. Of course, it should be mentioned that I do not consider “wannabe” a derogatory term. I see nothing wrong with people who want to be writers. In fact I applaud them. I applaud them for their passion and the sacrifices that I myself am not willing to make.
When I was younger, I dreamt of being a writer of course, but it was never realistic in the first place. Not so much from a talent point of view. Maybe I would have been a good writer if had made the commitment. And maybe I would have remained a bad writer. I truly don’t know. And that’s the thing. I don’t know because I never really tried hard enough. I never sought the boundaries, never pushed myself hard enough to become a better writer. It was nice to dream, to fantasize about it, but that was all. Sure, I started dozens of writing projects, but those attempts were really quite pathetic. They were always doomed from the start.
Looking back, I think the main reason was fear. For most of my life, the things I did, or to put it more accurately, the things I did not do were mainly driven by fear. Where this fear comes from, I do not know, but I’ve always lacked the courage to do the things I want, to be the person that I truly want to be. And so it is with writing. I’m always afraid that I would always be terrible. I’m always afraid what other people would think of what I write about. I’m always afraid that what is important for me would nothing to other people. As long as I only fantasize about it, I create this false sense of security. If I do not try, then I can also say that I did fail. Of course, life just doesn’t work that way.
But then a funny thing happened. I don’t remember when exactly or how, but at some point I just decided that it’s ridiculous to have this foolish notion of becoming a writer. So I let go of it. And I started writing more, much more than I ever did before. It’s not just all the stuff I write about on my blog, but also much more in my notebooks which will never be published, which will never be read by anyone else but me, but which I will keep with me. I started writing more not because I wanted to become a famous writer. It was never about that. I started writing more because I finally realized that I cannot not write. I finally realized that not writing is simply not an option. I write not to make a living. I write to make my life worth living.
So, let’s go back to the original question. Is the name A Wannabe Writer appropriate? Well, there is of course another definition for a writer than the one I mentioned above, which is much simpler. A writer is simply someone who writes. A writer is someone who writes despite his fears. A writer is someone who writes, even if the things he writes are insignificant and meaningless to other people except himself. A writer is someone who writes because a life without writing unimaginable and unbearable. And that is what I truly want in the end. To keep writing, no matter what.
So I guess the answer is yes. I am a wannabe writer. One day, I hope to call myself a writer.