I know, it seems so obvious, but then again maybe it’s not. If you first met me on the street, or if we met at work, or if it was at a wedding, or heaven forbid a funeral, wherever we met, unless it was at a writer’s conference, or at my book signing (July 13th is right around the corner), you would have no way of knowing I was a writer. You would see that I’m tall, that I’m black, that I have short hair, that I’m sporting a mustache, and that I prefer wearing jeans, but your first thought probably wouldn’t be “writer.”
And that’s okay. I know why that is. Writers are a varied group of people who can look like ANYONE, and who can sound like ANYONE. We are short, tall, rich, poor, long-haired, short-haired, black, white, good speakers, bad speakers, and everything in-between, or outside of those labels. The point is that a writer can’t be labeled, so why would you automatically label me one if we first met?
But, of course, you didn’t meet me in any of those other ways. You met me out here, on my blog that I maintain, which is mostly writing, MY writing, so you know who I am. You know what tagline fits me the best, and the people who know me closest also can attest to having that knowledge. It’s funny. My daughter Alexa had to write a profile for me for a Father’s Day assignment last week, and here is what she said about me:
My Dad’s name is: Sam
My Dad is: 36
My Dad spends most of his day: working at Target
My Dad is really good at: writing
And the list goes on, but I was blown away that she realizes what is most important to me when it comes to me as an individual. I love my family, and I love writing. I’m happy that she also thinks I’m really good at it too. It makes an old man feel proud, and honored. But that’s interesting. When my first published book came in the mail she was almost as excited as I was to get it in her mitts.
Being a writer is a process, but for me it’s all about enjoying the words on the page. Sometimes I will go back and read something I wrote ages ago and I’ll wonder where my mind was at the time I wrote it. Occasionally I’ll remember, but usually I’m just guessing, and that’s interesting to me. I’ve always said that writing to me is an out-of-body experience. It’s almost like I’m astral projecting and I can look down to see this man typing on a computer, that it’s not me. I love that feeling, even if I can’t explain later why I wrote what I wrote. That’s what being a writer is like to me.
When I was compiling the poems I wanted to include in my first poetry collection, they ranged from poems I wrote fifteen+ years ago to ones I wrote while in the process of compiling, but one thing that stayed true throughout the them all was the clear passion I could see for what I was doing. That’s what it means to me to fit the tagline of writer, and I can count on it when I can’t count on much else in life. I will always have my writing, and it will always have me.