You Are What You Do

03/23/2014 · 15 comments

in Creating Your Identity, Noa Gavin

I’m a writer.

That is how I largely define myself because that’s the majority of what I do. I write every goddamn day, even when I don’t feel like it. I write uninspired because writing shit is what makes you write great. I write inspired because it’s rare and it feels so good. I work hard to perfect my craft. I read. I write comedy, I write satire, I write novels, I write short stories, I write lesson plans and planners and sketches and jokes and about a hundred thousand other things.

I do a lot of other stuff, sure. I run a business and I teach and perform improv comedy. By and large though, I am a writer.

I say that because that’s what I do.

What you do makes you who you are.

We all want to be something. We’re asked our whole lives what we want to be when we grow up. We want to be a rockstar or a princess or an octopus, and we’re so excited about that. Only, we have no responsibility towards becoming that because, well, we’re children.


I mean, it’s cute now, but you better start growing some fucking tentacles.

As we grow up, it becomes less and less adorable to say you want to be something and not do anything about it. It’s not cute for an adult to have big dreams and goals and little ambition, or, much much worse, to have little inspiration that holds you back from what you want.

Make no mistake, this responsibility of identity is not towards the rest of the world, it’s towards yourself. No one else gets to decide what you are, but for fucks’ sake, how long do you want to lie to yourself about being a writer or painter or songwriter or golfer or whatever and not do a goddamn thing about it? Start now.

Don’t go on Pinterest and Lifehacker and Tumblr and do ‘research’ for hours on how to get started. You already know how, so just fucking do it.

Don’t say you have no time. Do it at literally any point you can. If the only time you have is while you take a morning shit, then that’s where you start.

Don’t say you’re uninspired. That’s bullshit. No one in the world is inspired all the time, or even more than 10% of the time. You just do it because that’s what you were meant to do, born to do.

If you want to be a writer, write. It will be so hard at first, but you will build momentum. You will write terrible shit, but it will improve. If you want to write songs, write them. They’ll be bad at first, but not forever. If you want to do anything at all, the first step is to start–right now.


When you start doing, you start learning. Make it a point to do the thing once a day, and learn about the thing once a day. You will get better. You will not suck forever.

You are what you do: Remember that. If you spend your whole life wanting to be something and never doing anything towards that–well, you’re a liar pal. The worst kind–you lied to yourself.

If you wanna be something amazing, all you gotta do is start.

You Are What You Do

laurie free March 23, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Effin luv this. Needed to.see it. Thank u

Noa March 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm

You betcha.

CRAP March 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Most people are NOT what they do. Most people do whatever they do to play bills.

If you’re the kind of person who judges people on what they do, you are extremely short sighted.

Noa March 23, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Eh, maybe I didn’t my point across well enough. You gotta do what you gotta do to pay bills, and a lot of times (including right now for me even!) we don’t get paid for what we really love to do.

Larger message here is: you gotta put your money where your mouth is on who you want to become. If that’s a writer, write. If that’s a great mother, then great mother, if that’s accounting, then account. It doesn’t matter whether it pays you or not, you gotta do what it takes to be you wanna be.

I don’t judge people at all for what they do. I only judge people who don’t back up their words.

Desire March 24, 2014 at 5:58 am

Whaaaaaaahahahaha you are so totally my kinda people!!!! Love this blog!
Desire recently posted..Whipped Cream and Duct Tape

Noa March 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Awesome! Glad you like!

Mayor Gia March 24, 2014 at 6:37 am

I think I would rather be what I eat, because french fries are probably the cool cats of the fast food world.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Frozen

Noa March 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm


Shannon March 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I wish that I could have this in Howler form, so every time I went to pick up my phone to dick around on tumbr your voice would just explode and tell me to pick up a fucking pen instead.
Shannon recently posted..Atmosphere

Shannon March 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

ps I just printed this out to leave on my desk – every time I sit down to write, I can move it out of my way and when I’m done, I’ll put it right back
Shannon recently posted..Atmosphere

Noa March 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Getchyo Shit Done, Shannon!

Roxie March 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I am a TV watcher.

Noa March 24, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Hey, you know yourself.

Jayne March 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Most of us have to have jobs that pay the bills. It’s what we do with the rest of that time that defines who we are (as stated above). It’s so easy to forget that while we are in the middle of our daily grind, it’s articles like this that remind me not to waste that time. Thanks Noa.

Noa March 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Thank you! It’s rare the person who can actually make a living doing exactly what they want to do, and often times even those people spent large parts of their lives also working jobs they hated to support what they love. It’s how, unfortunately, our society works right now. You are right, we have to work hard in the off time to be who we wanna be. And also to eat bad things and watch bad TV sometimes, because we can’t be on all the time.

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