Here's how I feel: I'm nervous. I'm embarrassed. I'm insecure. I'm excited.
Here's why: I'm going to be a writer.
I feel so stupid typing that. I was tempted to say, "I'm going to start a writing career", or "I'm going to try writing for money", but those are just mealy-mouthed ways of saying, "I'm going to be a writer." Why not go for the gusto?
I'm nervous because what if it doesn't work out? What if it turns out no-one wants to pay me to write? (Answer: I'll just keep trying. Sooner or later somebody will pay me to write something.)
I'm embarrassed because it seems so presumptuous to be all, "I'm going to be a writer!" because what makes me so special? Then mad at myself for not thinking I'm special enough to be a writer. (As if being a writer is some kind of impossibly cool and unlikely job, like being a rock star. I have this idea that if a job is cool enough for me to want to do it, automatically I am not cool enough to do said job. Before now I've only ever seriously considered jobs that I secretly think are kind of lame. Or at least very safe.)
Insecure, obviously. Very. The little voices in my head which tell me I can't do stuff are having a field day with this one.
And excited, too, when I manage to squeeze it in amongst all that other nonsense.
I'm not sure when I'm going to fit Being A Writer in amongst all the other stuff, but the plus side is I can do it without having to add much: I have a computer, an Internet connection, a phone and a roof. I also have two hours every day. At some point I would like to add a computer of my very own (rather than the shared family computer) and maybe a writing course or two, but Blake looks askance at spending any money on this endeavour before I've "proven" that I can earn money at it. (Which I take, of course, to be a vote of non-confidence, even though it's actually perfectly sensible.)
I'm going to kick it all off by working on three projects (yes, three): a non-fiction children's book or article, an article (subject TBD) in a parenting magazine (which one TBD), and an article on science and society in, again, some unspecified publication. I know, this all seems insanely vague, but this whole "let's be a writer!" thing is still insanely vague. I just decided to pick three things I would like to write, so I would have something concrete to work towards. My first tasks for all three pieces are basically: "research publishers" and "research topics". Once I have been working on those for a few weeks I will also start sending out feelers for business writing gigs, which I expect will be my bread and butter. I'm not so choosy about what I write, I just love the idea of getting paid for it.
So there. I said it. Out loud. My writing alter-ego is @arbrownwriter at Twitter and arbrownwriter at gmail. Drop me a line if you need me to write something for you!