Am I Still a Writer?

I’ll be flat out honest with you, Reader. I haven’t felt like much of a writer lately. Sure, I write stuff down all the time – grocery lists, instructions for work assignments, etc. Hell, sometimes I even scribble out blog posts or private journal entries when the mood strikes me. But as far as actual creative writing goes, I’m tapped out.

And I don’t mean I’m tapped out in the traditional writer’s block “I can’t find the right words” sort of way. I mean I genuinely haven’t had an original story idea in these past three years. It’s like my imagination is broken or something. I keep trying the switch, but the light never turns on.

For a long time I’ve wanted to write a book. As a kid I liked reading more than anything else. I liked diving into crazy adventure stories, reading about made up places with magic and dragons. I learned empathy from my books, the meanings of friendship and sacrifice from my favorite characters.  Authors were my heroes and so I guess I thought that I could someday be that hero to someone else. It’s been my dream to be the same inspiration that Anne Bishop and Melanie Rawn and two dozen other writers were for me, to write for all the kids like me who live in worlds of words.

When I was in high school I wrote all the time. I wrote original stories when I had them in mind and I wrote fanfiction when I didn’t. I college, I took creative writing classes where I improved my skills and learned to explore new genres. Always, I wrote pithy phrases in the margins of my notebooks or scribbled dialogue on receipts when there was nothing else to write on. But now that I have the time and the inclination and the drive to really sit down and write…I’m empty. I’m not suggesting that writing is easy or that I expect it to be all the time, but in the past, even when I was stuck on something, at least I had an idea.

I’m starting to feel like a bit of a fraud. Most of the time they don’t ask, but if anyone ever did it’s not like I could talk about anything I’ve written lately. I’ve written nothing lately. Not even junk. I’m an empty head, devoid of original thought. So what business do I have telling people I’m a writer?

What if I’m not cut out for the job? What if I don’t have the words in me to be the writer that I’ve always dreamed I could be? I don’t want to give up, but if there aren’t any words inside me, then am I really still a writer?

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