Becoming a writer

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.

How?

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?

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