I didn’t always consider myself a writer.
I remember writing (more like drawing) my first book when I was four years old; it was a picture book about flowers that I gave to my mom. This love for stories, reading, and eventually writing had stuck with me since then. Once college was quickly approaching and a great internal debate between the idea of Public Relations and English, I ultimately chose to be an English major. But even then, I still didn’t consider myself a writer.
I think I was in denial or lacked confidence in my storytelling abilities up to the very last semester of my undergraduate career. There were just so many talented people in my classes, in the dining hall, in the dorms, that I never felt like I stood a chance. My words never seemed to come out as eloquent as everyone else’s, and my ideas seemed so juvenile to me.
And so I spent a majority of my time in college trying to be practical; pursuing internships and opportunities in publishing because I didn’t think I was a good enough writer. And I fell in love with publishing, but I also never really gave up on writing. By the middle of my senior year, I had spent three and a half years of writing and writing some more, and trying my hand at different genres.
On January 17, 2017, I was sitting at a desk in the Cambridge Public Library when I realized the daunting journey I was about to embark on: writing my creative thesis. I had never felt more prepared and unprepared than in that moment, but during that last semester of college was when I truly understood of how much I’ve actually learned in the past few years.
Writing my 87-page creative thesis in three and a half months was an experience I can try in vain to describe but only a few will ever really understand. In that time, I learned that self-motivation isn’t difficult to muster when you’re excited about what you were writing about. I learned how much self-discipline is necessary because writing is a solitary activity. And although I spent a lot of that time alone, stuck in my own head and wrapped up in my own words, I was never lonely. Somewhere along the way I had stopped seeing my friends and classmates as being in an invite-only, exclusive group of great writers. We were equals, keeping each other company at the same table at cafes or in the library on our respective laptops, and sharing our struggles over drinks at a bar.
They have always seen me as a fellow writer. They had always believed in me.
When I graduated in May 2017, I walked across that stage with more than my degree. I walked away with a greater sense of myself: I am a writer.
I am a nonfiction writer who has so much to say and so many stories to tell. I am a writer with many identities and even more opinions. I write with the hope that my voice can speak to the experiences of others and resonate with them.
But at the end of the day, I write for myself and that’s enough.