I Am A Writer
I am a writer.
I didn’t know I was until very recently.
English is my second language. I spoke Japanese until I was five. Then I went to kindergarten and had to learn how to communicate with the other children.
In addition, I was really good at math from an early age. My mom taught me all the multiplication tables up to 12 x 12 before kindergarten. I guess that’s the Japanese thing to do.
So thanks to her I came in to school with an enormous advantage in math.
I won all the classroom math challenges. I was in Mathcounts. I had a t-shirt that said Mathlete on it. I got first in the state in a national mathematics exam in junior high school. I placed in the top ten in the state on another national math exam as a Freshman in high school.
I’m not special at all.
I just had the belief from an early age of: “I am Good at Math.”
So I was good at math. I was fucking great at math. That’s what happens when you have a belief that keeps getting reinforced by evidence.
Unfortunately, I also thought:
I’m good at Math = I’m bad at Writing
This was reinforced by the fact that English was my second language. I also thought that boys are good at math and girls are good at writing. Don’t know where I picked that belief up, but it was in my head somehow.
So I didn’t put any work into my writing. I just knew that I would be the kid who was good at math.
Essays were always a struggle, I consistently scored lower on the verbal side of standardized tests, and English and Language Arts were boring and difficult to me.
Then a couple years ago I just started writing.
Eventually my writing started getting better.
Then I started writing about things that challenged me to press “Publish.”
Then I started investing a large chunk of time into studying copywriting.
Then my writing started getting shared all over the Internet and people would come up to me at conferences telling me how much they enjoy my writing or how I’m one of the three blogs they still subscribe to.
Then last month I wrote a book. The dozen or so people who’ve read it so far say it’s actually pretty damn good.
So I guess I’m a writer now.
But so are you.
You just have to give yourself permission to be one.