I know I am dating myself by quoting that old tag line. I remember the ads – does anyone else who uses today’s Social Media? You were asked to figure out if you were listening to a real person, or a tape recording of a real person. The idea was: the tape was as good as the real thing. It sold a lot of tape, as I recall.
I have been secretly intimidated by something or other most of my life. Hiding that intimidation has propelled me into sending a lot of mixed messages, created a disconnect between me and the world around me, and contributed to quite a few really bad choices. It has also pushed me to find my own limits, shown me that I have abilities I never dreamed of, and put food on my table.
Being a writer is a vocation for some. A mission for others. A release for still others. But for me, writing has been the primary way I have earned my living for most of my life. It’s always been fun. And at this point, it is a way for me to find my own true self, after stuffing it down under a rock for decades. It is the method I use to open up to the world around me. It is the way I can enjoy courage with safety. Does that make sense? It is why I choose to blog.
Blogging has become quite the sport. Everyone blogs about something. There are bloggers that make big money. Bloggers that only blog to their families. Blogs about politics, fashion, medicine, law enforcement, food and pets. Everybody has something to say. But not everyone is a writer. A writer is someone special.
So many of the bloggers I read have some kind of educational background in writing. They were journalism majors in college. They have taken courses, joined writers groups, the list is pretty long. They have credentials and diplomas. They have CV’s and contracts, books and videos. They give speeches and teach seminars. They are all very impressive and they intimidate the heck out of me. I don’t hide it very well. In fact, I don’t even try to hide it. Why bother at this point? (Aging is sometimes quite freeing!)
I just write. I write what I think. I put down in my own voice what I feel. If I were standing in front of you, I would say the same things – although probably not as fluently. I am better at writing than I am at speaking, when it comes to the heart. Learning how to open up and describe the clutter in the myriad rooms in my heart has been as intimidating as any other situation I have faced in my life. Using the written word to sweep away the cobwebs in my dusty brain, poking at the dust bunnies in the corners and organizing the contents into something coherent has been both painful and exhilarating.
I can’t claim any degrees. I have no diplomas, other than the one I got back in ’72 from good old Valley Stream Central High School. I haven’t joined any writers groups. In fact, up until recently, I wasn’t a joiner at all. I have always just written. Letters, stories, descriptions of other people’s designs – it has always just seemed like putting the thoughts on paper (or the computer screen) in a way to make them come alive to the reader.
I’m not sure what that makes me. Am I a real writer, or am I Memorex? I guess, like the commercial, the answer lies with the reader.
Sandi Tuttle is the host of the Blog Talk Radio show “An Average Woman in a Superwoman World” (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandi-tuttle).