This is a question I’ve struggled with for a long time.
How many people know of someone in their lives who has declared once or several times that they’d “like to write a book someday”?
I don’t know why this has bothered me so much in the past. Perhaps it is because we know most of them won’t ever write a story, let alone finish a book. It’s hard to tie your name to something, only to not follow through.
So I don’t tell people that I am a writer.
Am I one?
I didn’t think so. I’ve written stories my entire life. For a few years I even dabbled in poetry, and ironically was published in an anthology. But I’m still not going to identify as a poet.
But then in November of 2012, I participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. On a whim, I signed up the day before it began and pledged to join 450,000 people around the planet to write 1,666 words a day to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month.
And I did it. 54,000 words in 28 days. And suddenly, I felt validated enough to tell people I wrote a book. But only people whom I trusted.
As time goes on though, I discovered that I knew I was a writer.
Because story ideas are constantly popping up in my head. Because I can’t stop reading. And because when given the choice, nothing makes me happier than some tunes, a candle, a glass of wine and my stories.
I am a writer because I write.
It’s as simple as that.
What do you think? Have you ever had issues identifying yourself as a writer?