First of all, I’ve never really considered myself a proper writer. I write, yes, my writing improves, I know about style and structure and how to use, but mostly I regarded myself as a scribbler.
Okay, prologue over, now for the good stuff.
Last month, I went to the theatre a lot. And it turned out almost every play I saw was a ghost story (mostly because I like ghost stories). And as I sat there, waiting for the third ghost story I’d seen on stage that month to start, something clicked.
I looked at the set, I looked at the lighting, I listened to the sound effects, and thought to myself ‘well of course you know what they’re doing, you write ghost stories too.’.
I’d recognised to techniques they were using to build tension, to break it down, to build it up again, to cause the scream, or the slow creeping horror. I recognised them because I use them too, in my ghost stories. I loved every second of it, but this I wasn’t watching it just as a viewer, but as another ghost story writer.
It wasn’t a conscious thought, nor a deliberate decision. Something in my brain has clicked, and instead of categorising myself as a ‘wannabe’, I am categorising myself as a writer.
And suddenly writer’s block, or endless editing, or uncertainty of what to write next isn’t as disturbing as before. Because now I’m a writer, and writer’s do these things.