I’m a writer. There, I said it. Take me to task. “What have you written?” you may ask. “Are you published?” you might follow up with. OK, slow down.
Just know, I am a writer.
Do you know how long it’s taken me to claim that title? It’s not like I woke up one day and thought, hmm…today I think I’m a writer. If only it were so easy.
Others have a preset idea of what “I’m a writer” means. I was one of those people. Now, not so much.
I no longer think a “writer” has to have published a NYT bestseller. A writer need not have actually published at all. Some have written far longer and more prolific than I have, yet they don’t have a single published credit to their name. Are they writers? Of course they are! And probably better than I am.
I’m fortunate to have at least one published credit to my name (*cough, cough: http://www.everydayfiction.com/cat-got-your-tongue-by-jason-j-nugent/) I also have this blog which has gained readers every month. Add my work on a video game and the three unpublished novels I’ve written, and I’ve got a decent start to what I’d like to call my “writing career.”
Not that any of that makes me more of a writer than others. I’ve been fortunate because I’ve put myself out there for others to read and I’ve had mostly positive feedback. It’s not always been a pleasant process, but I believe in what I do and I’m not afraid of rejection. Well, not that afraid.
At a recent writing conference I attended, the question was posed, “Who has had a story rejected before?” About two-thirds of the class raised their hand, including me. The instructor applauded us because you can’t get published unless you try. Part of the process is rejection.
I’ve been writing seriously for maybe seven to eight years. I’ve enjoyed creating stories since high school, but I never devoted time and resources to it like I do now.
I was scared at first to call myself a writer. What did that mean? How would others think of me? Do I have a right to claim that title? Do I have enough “cred” to call myself a writer?
Yes. Yes I do.
I might be a sales rep. at a screen-printing company. I might be a husband and a father. I might be a part-time runner and wicked bocce ball player.
But I’m also a writer. You’ve got it in black and white.