Are You Still a Writer if You’re Not Writing?

I’ve had some personal issues over the last several months. Serious family and personal medical complications because, hey, you can’t go hang out at the hospital for a couple of weeks and not catch something yourself. And when the flu is really bad, apparently it can turn into pneumonia. Who knew?

All in all, that can combine to keep one from having the most creative thoughts. Although the 104° fever dream I had would qualify as some very wild thinking. What were those red contour lines marching across my ceiling anyway? Weird.

All in all, I’ve spent a couple of months away from the keyboard. I haven’t even been able to think about writing. And it comes to me that if I’m not writing, I’m not a writer. I did some reading. I thought a little about a script I have working, and some new chapters in the novel that I drafted, but nothing went down on paper. Or electrons. I wasn’t writing. Ergo, not a writer. Right?

I’m not buying it. If you’re an architect and you’re between building designs, you’re still an architect. A doctor is still an MD even when she’s sleeping. Writing isn’t just something you do. It’s a state of mind. It makes you reconsider using clichés like “state of mind” when you want to convey that it’s more of a condition of what you are, rather than what you do.

Writing is more than a way of translating the world you see – especially if it’s a world you only see in your imagination – into a form you can share with others. Writing is something that gets into your soul and makes you need to tell a story. That may be a simple haiku or an epic poem, a novel, screenplay or a short story. And with this entry to the blog, I’m thankfully back to it.