What It Means to be a Writer
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As I grew up, my idea of what a writer was has changed, but only slightly. I still see the core element of being a writer as telling stories. But for me, being a writer is about so much more than just writing. It is about having something to write about.
Monday's post was about how to live an adventurous life. To me, that is what being a writer is about: experiencing all sorts of adventures, and then coming home to share them with people. My idea of my writerly life is one with very little sitting at a keyboard and a lot of trekking through exotic locales, life-threatening expeditions, death-defying feats of Warrior awesomeness, and tasty food (lots of that last item).
I want my life to be a story worth telling. Then I can write about it and live comfortably off the royalties.
I don't think that this characterization of writing is necessarily universal. Definitely there are perks of being able to work from anywhere, and the romantic ideal of a writer is one of a well-traveled, cultured individual. But there are a lot of writers who don't follow this model. They are stay-at-home moms who need the freedom to work from home. Or they are individuals who don't want to work every single day, so they choose freelance writing jobs that let them choose when to work. Some of them don't even like telling stories. They just create a lot of content articles and hope to generate a passive revenue stream.
My point is that the label "writer" can have a lot of different meanings. Similarly, I could do the whole adventurous living thing as a photographer, a National Geographic TV personality, a pilot, a tour guide, a soldier, a flight attendant, or a hotel manager.
But I like telling stories, and the framework of my life is one of an Epic, so I want to write about it.
Keeping this in mind, you can pursue any career path and make it fit your vision of your life, or vice versa. If you love making people happy and comfortable and enjoy solving their problems, and you want to live in luxury and deal with many different cultures, you can go into hospitality like my sister. Of you can become a diplomat.
Maybe you want to be left to your own devices in a natural setting. You could become an eco-tour guide in Costa Rica, or a forest ranger, or a bush pilot.
Or you could become a writer and tell stories about long, lonely nights in the deep wilderness.
Whatever you want to do, you can do it. Even if your image of what you do isn't the traditionally accepted model, you can find a way to do it that works for you. I always tell people that there is someone, somewhere, doing exactly the things you want to do, so you know it is possible. It's just a matter of figuring out how to realize that.
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Fight on, brave Warriors,