The Art of Submission: Accepting the Writer You Are

I think that each of us probably has an idea in her head of what a real writer looks like. For me, she looks like some combination of Dorothy Parker and Sylvia Plath—dedicated, devoted to language, sharp as a tack, and always surrounded by an air of tragedy. She wakes up when the sky is still black and writes, the words spreading across the page like the sun across the sky.

I also think that each of us probably has an idea of what a real writer looks like and, for any number of reasons, believes that we are not that. 

I signed up for a writing workshop yesterday. Mainly because I know it will keep me accountable and keep me working. Is it weird that I feel a tinge of shame about this? About paying hard-earned money to have someone hold me accountable to something I claim to love?

There are other things that I love that don't take external motivators to keep me dedicated—my dog, my boyfriend, every single iteration of The Real Housewives. Why can't I—like the real writer I imagine—get my shit together once and for all and write this collection on my own? What does it mean that I need a financial obligation to get this work done? Does it mean I don't really want this? Does it mean that I don't have it in me? Does it mean that—worst of all—I am not a real writer, that I have never been one, that I never will be?


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