Monday, July 11, 2011

Wannabe Writer

Both on Twitter and this blog, I've marketed myself as a "wannabe writer." And it's true. Maybe someday I'll feel confident enough to drop the "wannabe" and say, simply, "I am a writer." I don't know exactly what I am a writer of, and without a content-designated niche, I'm having trouble taking that step.

I felt like more of a writer between the ages of 10 and 16 than I do now, to be honest.

As a kid, about 10 years old, I used to write plays and have my friends act them out (I'd often have the lead role, of course). While I loved showing off the finished product to my family, my favourite part was sitting alone in my room, thinking of a basic storyline, then allowing my imagination to do the rest of the work. I'd draw a picture in the background of my title page, bind the three holes in the left margin together with tiny bits of yarn, then get on the phone to start casting.

When I reached high school age, I had a new obsession: The Moffatts. Still, when I wasn't busy recording their every television appearance or lining up in the wee hours of the morning for concert tickets, I was writing. I had a "Moffic" website, my own little corner of the web where I published a novel (probably more of a novella) and short stories featuring the four (or one of the four) Moffatt brothers.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I was a nerd.

Nowadays I feel a lot less focused. And I'm not surprised. I believe that youth, in general, have a lot of strength and talent. In some ways my creativity has been slowly chipped away by the organizations I've sold my life to and the academic institutions that got me there.

I'm trying to get it back.

I blog: Apparently. Though I'm not as prolific as I'd like to be, this blog is much more successful than my last one (Musings of a Native Grad Student, which had, I think, one musing). And I enjoy blogging about whatever suits my fancy - a contentious issue that I feel affects me as Anishinabe/racialized/woman/"colonized"/etc. or about my weight loss journey (which hasn't been going all that well lately, by the way). I don't feel like a blogger - just a girl who blogs.

I write poems: This might be the medium I'm closest to these days. Though I would never deign to call myself a poet! It's just that sometimes things come to me in poems. After hearing a cute story about my boyfriend R.J.'s five-year old understanding of being an Indian, I wrote a poem about it. After my grandmother opened up to me for the first time about her experience in residential school, I wrote a poem about it. I have no idea if they're any good. But they're there.

I write fiction: I have this longing to return to fiction - and a dream to someday write a novel. My Dad is convinced it'll be my one-way ticket to fame and fortune. (Actually, he wants to be the creative force behind a novel or movie script that I'll write so *we* can make millions. Most of his stories are about dogs. I love my Dad.) To test whether I was still interested and able to write fiction, I've enrolled in a fiction writing workshop over the summer. I struggled through some pieces and breezed through others, but I'm still waiting for that "aha" moment. That moment when I decide that I can do this and want to pursue it full-steam ahead. I don't know if it will come.

I write "smartly": I have the most confidence in my academic writing, and I'm still trying to figure out if that has anything to do with those couple of letters behind my name. I got some really nice comments from my reviewers, so that may have contributed to this little confidence boost. I'd like to revise and submit my essay for publication in a journal - maybe then I'll be able to say I am a writer? ...If when I'm googled something related to writing that's been acknowledged by someone else pops up??

All of this to say... I'm still an Anishinabekwe wannabe writer.


  1. Stumbled upon your blog a few months back. Keep up the good work! I like the idea of blogging or documenting goals and aspirations.

    Take Care


  2. Thanks! Just perused yours, and I want to read more. :) I should do an update soon... Maybe next week, as long as I workout 4 times this week! Or 5!!!

  3. I've been meaning to visit your blog for awhile now but I'm always touch and go. I to call myself a wannabe writer... I've taken a couple writing courses but nothing formal as in university level. But I still love to write...except when writers block knocks me on my butt. any ideas on how to help with that?

  4. One piece of advice that helped me in fiction writing: Only conflict is interesting.

    There have been a lot of cool writing prompts in my workshop. Jump starts like: "They had arrived in the late evening, unpacked and stood facing one another" or "There was a peculiar, oblong hole in the wall." Our latest assignment is to pick two famous people (e.g. Madonna and the Pope), set them in a place together and write!

    I also came across this interesting article yesterday: "A little everyday doesn't work"

    Hope this helps! And thanks for reading. :)