I was trying to upload pictures from the WordSlam event yesterday but sometimes it's really naughty with pictures here. Had this on my mind for a very long time, so I thought that I should ask from you. Yes, you and you. It's called Letter from a Young Frustrated Writer. Enjoy!
Hope this meets you well (Isn't that how to start emails formally?).
Let me introduce myself. Do you need my name? Not sure. But I am a young writer who has always loved to write but who is about to forget about the writing game all together. And I have my reasons.
First, it looks sometimes that everyone writes. Yes, to some extent. everyone can pick up a pen and paper and scribble something, even if it makes sense to only them. Isn't a writer anyone that writes? That said, I am even more than all that because I write stories. Well, transfer them from what I see around me into my head then onto the paper or my computer when I tap my keyboard.
So I've been scribbling 'stuff' for years now. Sometimes, my teachers read it and felt that I had real talent. They made me the head of the Creative Writing Group in School. Since then, I've written about five books, none has been published. Is it not publishing that validates my talent and puts my name out there as author? Don't get me wrong I've been making submissions but I always get the decline letters "Thank you for your submission, we will pass on it now" or the milder version "We regret to tell you that we can't publish your story..." I've given up on those publishing houses now. I even considered self publishing at a stage but got scared off because of the expenses. Where on earth will I get that much to invest in something I am not sure will make me money? The banks--they are angry at the moment. My friends--they don't care about what I write. My parents--there are other things to focus on. And hello credit crunch is here!
Sometimes, I enter for these competitions (I do the free ones!) and they don't even acknowledge receipt let alone tell me whether I made a shortlist. Sometimes, I just stopped trying them because I felt it was just sham just like the other awards around (and observers of the Nigerian literary scene understand better!) or was it just my vexation expressed as depression? I don't know.
What's it with this writing thing? Sometimes, I feel I'm not talented. Am I living a mirage or maybe I am really not talented. Maybe I am not a writer. Maybe I should stop wasting my time and do something 'positive', well 'professional' with my life as my mother says.
Do you feel like this too? Am I some strange human being forced to this ugly fate?
I'm sorry for boring you with my rant but please help me! How do I know if I'm a writer?
Young Frustrated Writer