Not quite a writer

I was hoping that this was going to be a somewhat more positive post: an almost idyllic one, in fact, showcasing a moment of creative bravery.

But it’s not, quite.

I had a really fun few hours the other day. We’d noticed our campsite was having an open mic night – poems, songs, stories – and I thought I might write something to join in.


As if on cue, Arthur started to come up with some really lovely ideas. And I used them to write a coherent (if sketchy around the edges) story about sea monsters and shadow makers and bravery that he loved.

And then along came the evening, with families gathered fireside, a jovial and self-assured host whose self-penned short story made me think of Neil Gaiman and an awesome performance poet whose words (as they often do in that medium) spoke directly to my soul.

I hung back with my story. I actually had visions, just momentary ones, of kids sat around my feet whilst I told my tale, a tale that was a long way from perfectly polished, but was a good story nonetheless.

But it was not to be.

In the end I never felt enough like a writer to step forwards, never felt confident enough to claim my place on even a relatively humble stage.

It made me realise that I am still a long way off the headspace I need to own if ‘writer’ is going to be a mantle I will embrace fully.

This is at the very crux of my mission to find a publisher: and with any luck by the end of the summer I will be somewhat further on the journey to seeing it accomplished.


Writing Bubble

5 thoughts on “Not quite a writer

  1. caramckee

    It’s terrifying isn’t it? But worth doing. Everyone’s work sounds better when spoken (or so my experience so far suggests).

    I heard about this study from the 70s into what makes a creative person. The researchers had got people together and given then lots of weird tests. Mainly men of course because women weren’t people in the 70s. Anyway, they found that creative people were quirky, non conformists who were really self confident.

    I wondered if there was a selection bias, because the people they were studying were successful creative people. Sometimes very successful. Perhaps they were self confident because people kept telling them they were good? Perhaps they were quirky non conformists because that’s what people wanted in a creative person?

    I’m quirky and non conformist, and as for self confidence… I’ll fake it ’til I make it.

    I hope the next opportunity goes better for you, and glad you recognised the worth of your story.

    1. sophieblovett Post author

      Thank you! I think the whole battle with self-confidence is really interesting. On one level I have a really strong belief in myself and the worth of my writing – otherwise I wouldn’t be spending so many hours doing it! There is a real difference though with opening that up to the world. I sometimes think that is the biggest difference between successful creatives and those that aren’t – that little reservoir of confidence that gives you the push to really sell your work. I’m determined to get there, but it’s not easy!

  2. Rebecca Ann Smith

    Performance is scary, and at the risk of disagreeing with you (again!) it’s also a slightly different skill set. I picture it as Venn diagram – two circles, one is ‘writer’ and one is ‘performer’ and in the area in the middle where the 2 circles overlap there are practices like spoken word and stand up. (Add a third circle for ‘musician’, and it all gets a lot more complicated, but let’s leave that for now!) There are of course performers who don’t write (we usually call them ‘actors’), and writers who don’t perform. I know a lot of writers who aren’t natural performers – we’re often introverts anyway. Maybe at a future opportunity, when the timing is right, it’ll turn out you are a performer after all (and certainly all that teaching experience should come in handy.) However, as a regular reader of your blog, I’d say there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that you’re already a writer. No ‘not quite’ about it 🙂

    1. sophieblovett Post author

      Thanks Becky 🙂 I actually love it when people disagree with me – it makes me think! Ironically, I started my creative journey as an actor – I went to drama school post university and spent a few years doing fringe shows and short films before switching to teaching. I was always much more confident performing other people’s words though – it’s giving voice to my own that’s a little bit terrifying!

  3. maddy@writingbubble

    As Becky said, there is no ‘not quite’ about you being a writer – you absolutely are one! And I also think you don’t have to be a performer to be a proper writer either it’s just important (vital?) to be able to have some of these skills in order to get your work out there these days. Thanks for sharing this moment though… it feels so honest – I know that feeling of ‘nearly but not quite’ when it comes to putting yourself out there. You’ll get there though, of that I have no doubt! xx


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