F*ck yes, you’re a writer
By Jessica Semaan
While in a Lyft yesterday, a passenger, let’s call her Alarm, asked me what I do for a living. I hesitated. The voice in my brain for the millionth time doubted: “You’re not a real writer, you can’t even write this book.” I responded:
“At the moment I am figuring out what’s next. Every day I write, and I often share, but I don’t think I qualify as a writer, you know I have not written a book”
Alarm seemed to have picked up on my hesitation and then turned to me “alarmed” and said:
“Fuck yes, you’re a writer. You write every day. What else do you need? A certificate?”
This is what I like to a call a wakeup moment, almost always brought to you by a stranger. This stranger is an Alarm.
I woke up today, with Alarm’s voice in my head.
Fuck yes I am a writer
Fuck yes I am a poet
Fuck yes I am writing this book
Fuck yes I am going to write every day
Fuck yes this book will be in your hands in 12 months
And fuck yes I am making money being a writer
All this time, I was dismissive of the idea that I can be a full-time writer. What I came to realize is my making myself small is simply a fear reaction. That’s it. Nothing else and no one else.
I am afraid of failing. Of writing a book that no one reads. Of the opinion of those who question who can call themselves a writer, humorist singer. Staying humble, has been my excuse to staying afraid. To hiding. To shrinking.
I am going to be a full-time writer. And while I do this, I am going to be your Alarm, and wake you up to the reality that:
Fuck yes you’re a writer
Fuck yes you’re a musician
Fuck yes you’re a runner
Fuck yes you’re an actor
Fuck yes you’re a podcaster
Fuck yes you’re a healer
Fuck yes you’re a leader
Fuck yes you’re a creator
Fuck yes you’re [insert your passion]
And fuck yes you are going to figure it out
We are going to figure out
I went ahead this afternoon and created a Patreon page. Let’s do this. Be part of my journey to be a full-time writer, and publishing my first book, by giving as little as $1 a month. Be my patron. I am doing this. You are doing this. We are doing this.
I love you,
Jessica the writer, poet, your Alarm
(Born and raised in Lebanon, Jessica moved to the US to attend Stanford Business School. As an early employee at Airbnb, Jessica worked on scaling its operations worldwide, and recently launched Airbnb’s first global conference. Despite the successes Jessica did not feel fulfilled, so she spent a year interviewing 100 people doing what they love. During this time, she found her own passion which is helping others find theirs, and today is dedicated full-time to it through The Passion Co.)