Am I a writer?

I do many things well, but few things excellently. In so many aspects of my life I feel like I get 90% of the way to achieving something great, but struggle to get to 100%. Fortunately, in other people’s minds my 90% looks great – succeeding at Fordham, at JPMorgan, and now with Mesa Salvaje/Pizza Paraiso. But on a personal level I always feel like I have more to accomplish my potential.

One area in which I constantly come up short is in my writing. I would like to consider myself to be a writer, but to be a writer I need to write. I have long term ambitions to write fiction, and shorter term ambitions to publish more frequently and try and establish a writing-style that lends itself towards building an audience outside my personal connections, including in Spanish. 

Yet I find myself publishing blogs that I don’t hate, on a schedule that isn’t exactly awful, but definitely isn’t of the caliber or frequency that I am looking for. These blogs hint at the potential I have to write interesting analysis and commentary, as an artist who makes a sketch for themselves of the idea in their mind before actually doing the hard work on the real piece. I need to get to work on the real piece.

I don’t think many people who know me would identify me as a writer. Maybe as a blogger, but not a writer. I have always wanted to identify myself as a writer, but my lack of commitment to writing makes it hard for me to share that aspirational identity in public. 

Tim Urban (the author of Wait But Why) recently did an interesting interview with Lex Fridman (who I do not enjoy as a podcast host), in which he put it simply: the difference between the person who writes 10-20 books in their lifetime and the person who says they have the potential to be a writer but never publishes any book is 2 pages per week. They could live otherwise identical lives but the person who actually realizes 2 pages per week of writing is publishing a book every two years and is considered a prolific author, and the other is left with nothing to show.

Only time will tell if I am actually a writer or not. I’d like to dedicate at least a day per week to writing and have a regular publishing schedule. In theory there is nothing stopping me from doing that as of right now, but I always let myself get caught up in other responsibilities that aren’t as important but are more urgent. 


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