i never realized how many “writers” there were in the world until i started using twitter regularly.
it seemed every twitter bio i read had some mention of being an author. so much so that i began to despise the title and those who used it to describe themselves. i always felt that if you have to be the one to label yourself as a thing, you’re not really that thing.
but that logic brought me to some uncomfortable conclusions.
in order for it to work the way i think it should:
1. certain parties would need to advocate for the individual and attest to his/her writing ability.
2. once the attestation was made, the individual should rightly be able to claim the title moving forward without depending on the validation of others.
3. no one would ever be allowed to visualize a dream and then attempt to realize it.
when i was a boy, i loved to read and write stories. as i grew, that translated into a love of literature and a strong ability to analyze texts and write about it. teachers would read my stories and papers aloud from elementary school through college. my college poetry professor remarked on my unmistakable “voice” and encouraged me to develop it further. my family asked me to write things from wedding speeches to eulogies.
it seemed everyone in my circles attested to the fact that i was a writer.
except for me.
i’m not sure if my refusal to accept it stemmed from a misguided arrogance that masked itself as modesty. secretly, i considered myself a writer while simultaneously rejecting the idea that anyone else could be a writer like me. and after college, that sentiment grew because i did nothing to actually validate it; i merely clung to past accolades and became more resentful towards those who tried and failed and those who succeeded. it’s as if i was dealt a strong hand, but backed away from the table because i didn’t like who was sitting at it.
and then i just forgot about it for years. i pulled out my “talent” occasionally for milestones or anniversaries, writing heartfelt messages in cards. “you should write,” people would say and i’d shrug it off or become mildly agitated depending on the circumstance.
you can’t lose if you don’t play.
then i started using twitter regularly. and almost every day, i was assured that i wouldn’t be able to forget it anymore. there were “writers” all around me now. what gave them the right to be writers and not me?
i was the only person standing in my way.
the table is there. i don’t know what hands i’ll be dealt, but i know how to play. i can take a seat if i want to. the only buy-in is vulnerability and honesty.
this has been a rather lengthy rambling, but it felt good to stumble over the words as they came out. maybe i should try it more often.
what i guess i’m trying to say is:
i’m nicolas gonzales and i’m a writer.