I Am A Writer

Posted March 19th, 2010 by Julie Carriker

When people ask me, ‘What do you do?’ I always tell them ‘I’m a writer.’ I’ve never been paid for it, but I’ve written millions and millions, (maybe billions and billions?), of words over the years. Those words have appeared in school papers and personal correspondence, newsletters and academic journals, poems presented as gifts and various other venues, but until almost six years ago, I didn’t consider myself a ‘real writer.’

That all changed in late March of 2004, when the images just beneath my consciousness demanded to be given voice, and I began to ‘seriously’ write–although I’ve certainly had a lot of FUN doing it. Those first few days I got hardly any sleep, I was so excited to meet the characters forming beneath my fingertips. It was a high like none I’d ever felt, before or since.

I’ve learned in these six years that the actual work of writing isn’t a constant high–sometimes it is agony–but I cannot imagine a life without it now. Writing, even when I am chipping away at some difficult buried emotion, or embedded in research about and obscure event that happened before I was even born, has become as essential to me as breathing. And although I have had to make sacrifices, sometimes causing suffering and disappointment to others, as well as myself, these are offerings I’ve felt I HAD to make. For my art, or for my sanity, I’m not sure which.

It is what I do. It is who I am.

I am a writer.

8 Responses to “I Am A Writer”

  1. Mike Bernier

    This is great introduction, Julie! I look forward to learning more about you and your writing.

  2. Deneen Ansley

    Congratulations! I can so relate – and you know it! I’m so glad to see you tackling this subject. Perhaps with the birth of your blog, I will have a place to point the numerous people in my life who don’t understand this insanity called “writing”.

    I know the high of which you speak, and you also very accurately portray the way it feels when the stories inside of one speak out in a demanding way. We have a huge responsibility, and I thank you for honoring here, that gift/curse – with some explanation as to the reason for our madness.

  3. Julie Carriker

    Thank you, Mike and Deneen. I’m excited about this blog and hope it is more than narcissistic navel-gazing. 🙂 I hope to enrich those who visit here, and also explain myself a bit to my loved ones.

  4. Deneen Ansley

    I just have to say that I love the phrase “narcissistic navel-gazing”!

  5. Julie Carriker

    Thanks, I kinda liked it too! 🙂

  6. Lelisia Hall

    I’m very glad you’ve chosen to write this blog. Although I know already, from so many conversations and shared experiences with you, how much writing means to you, how much it has helped you, I am hoping that through this blog I will learn new things as well. I hope I will come to understand you more, and that I will also learn new secrets about writing. I hope I may again be inspired to take up my so-long quiet, so-long silent pen.

  7. Julie Carriker

    First, Lee, thank you. If you read the ‘Credits’ section, you were reminded that you helped bring my writing self into the world. I will be ever grateful for that, and for you. Perhaps you will learn new things about me and about writing through this blog. Perhaps I will even learn new things while writing it. I hope so, on both counts. I would be honored and THRILLED if I could in some way put the ink back into your pen, for, as you know, I have grieved over its silence.

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