August 7, 2015


(I flubbed the math. I’m actually 19 days away from 30, not 20, so we’re skipping a day. English majors can’t count properly, apparently.) 

You are who you are and that’s it.

I am a writer. It’s time to face the music with that fact. I’ve always been afraid to tell people I’m a writer, because I didn’t like the attention or the follow up questions.

What do you write? To me that sounded more like “what have you ever done?” Because when you tell people you do something creative, they always wanna see it. They wanna read it, they wanna find out more about you.

And yeah, it’s pretty cool that someone’s interested in what you have to say, but it still makes me nervous. To me it’s always felt like an interview. To me, it’s always been an opportunity to disappoint someone somehow. I’d see myself trumping up the fact that I am a writer, and then when they see what I’ve done, they realize it’s not all that great, and I open up the door for critique, rejection, and disappointment.

So talking about things that I’m doing has been tough for me, because a lot of times in the back of my mind there’s a voice saying “don’t tell them, it’s not all that great.”

Thinking is so incredibly delusional sometimes. Sometimes I stare at my ego and think really? Where do you get this stuff?

But in my opinion, 30 is as good an age as any to figure out who you really are. And if you’re reading this at any age and can’t figure out who you really are or what you want to do, I would say to think back to what you liked to do when you were 8 years old. There’s something about the things you used to love when you were younger that always stick with you. Because you knew exactly what you liked and what you wanted. There was nothing telling you ‘no’.

You liked smashing things apart and putting them back together. You liked to sing. You liked to rehearse lines from The Wizard of Oz in your front yard. (Ok that was me). You loved to swim. Whatever it was, remember that. Because whatever you truly got a kick out of as a kid is what’s trying to kick down the walls of your adult self to break through and say HEY! REMEMBER ME! LET’S HANG OUT AND BE LIKE WE WERE!

That’s what my 8 year old self told me the other day. The image of myself reading a story that I wrote to my mom in her bedroom when I was in the third grade came to mind. The feeling like I was really good at this story, even at age 8. As if I knew what good even was.

But I got this feeling when I wrote. Like it was my arena. Like I was in charge and I got to dictate what happened next. And I did it with authority! Like I was the most renowned, bestselling author in the world. My head was so big it should have exploded in the fourth grade, when I used to write short stories for kindergartners so they could have bedtime stories before bed. You should have seen the kids line up in after school care, asking me for stories.

If someone asked me for a story today, it would take me 6 weeks and a lot of negative self-talk to get anything done. Back then I churned them out within five minutes because I knew I was the best. It was like this deep seated knowing that I can remember clearly to this day.

What happened to it? What did I let get in the way of that knowing, that awesome, carefreedom? What did any of us do to stifle that?

Anne Lamotte brought it back out of me. She’s the author of Bird by Bird. She pulled up that little 8-year-old me by her bootstraps and out of that dark, musty basement I’d been rotting way in all these years and all but shouted at me to get back to work. To get back to writing.

The closer I get to 30, the more I realize that you can’t help who you are on the inside. Personally, I’m not only getting more bold in saying that I’m a writer, but also I’m starting to come out of the metaphysical closet. I’m starting to tell people more and more now that I’m spiritual. I even told one friend that she wasn’t really alone one time when she said she was alone a lot in her apartment.

It’s hard to convince people of that sort of stuff, but I find that it comes out of me more and more now and I can’t help it. I’m not trying to convince people of anything really, I just want them to feel comforted.

Are you in metaphorical ‘closet’ of some sort? Is there something you’re super passionate about that you don’t really tell anyone? I’d love to know what it is, because I know how much courage it takes to talk about these things in real life. It’s way to easy to do it from behind a keyboard.

Thanks for reading! This post is part of a 30 days to 30 series, read all about it here

Share or Pin this post with your about-to-be 30-year old friends below! Or your 30+ friends :)

Monique Muro

Monique is an exceedingly happy human from LA. She runs the blog A Novel Quest, and writes. A lot.

Latest posts by Monique Muro (see all)

  • Melissa Field

    Wow this is so good, and so in tune with where I’m at. It also took me years to be able to say, “I’m a writer,” because first of all I had to have the experience that would validate it (I now know that’s bullshit. If you’re willing to put your heart and soul into something, and sit at your computer for hours to do it, you’re a freakin’ writer.). I was literally just having this conversation with myself again over my website, and telling myself that I am a business owner. I need to own it and claim it so that people will reflect it back to me.

    And I totally relate to the follow up questions feeling like an interview. When I’m really feeling low about what I do, I remind myself that someone made a fortune selling a pet rock. It really doesn’t even matter if something is good or bad. It’s whether or not you’re going to step up to the plate and proclaim you are worthy of receiving. Because even bad stuff (pet rocks) can be good if we allow ourselves to let it be a source of joy or fun in a person’s life.

    p.s. I haven’t commented on some of the latest posts but I’m reading and enjoying them all!

    • Monique Muro

      I couldn’t agree more. You don’t need something to validate you. You’re so right. If you’re pouring your heart into it, you’re a writer. And wow this line just resonated with me so much “It’s whether you’re going to step up to the plate and proclaim you are worthy of receiving.” I’m in the middle of going through that same thing, where I’m feeling like I don’t deserve the money I make if I put something out there. Like it’s not going to be worth people’s money. Such craziness! And no worries on the comments, I know you read the posts and I am so ever grateful for it! Thank you so much for sharing all of your thoughts on the posts, it’s so nice to read what your reactions are to them, because it also gives me more stuff to think about! :)

  • DomSharee

    I read this at the right time! You are so right about everything you said. I remember there was a time in grade school where I loved to write & I couldn’t wait to share it with my classmates because I knew they would love it. There was this one story I wrote about twins (because I’ve always been obsessed with twins) that had the entire classroom in tears including my teacher. Somewhere along the way I lost that girl, I mean I severely lost her, but today you reminded me to go look for her again. Thank you! :-)

    • Monique Muro

      Oh my gosh I’m so glad you had a similar experience! Wow, that is so cool, you should definitely tap into that little girl, she’s still there! :) Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it truly makes my day! :)