When Can You Call Yourself a Writer?
My bio on my webpage and Amazon and everywhere else I can think of says I’ve been a writer since at least age eight, when I wrote a heavily plagiarized combination of Moses and Cinderella called Zelda (where the hell did I get that name? I hadn’t even heard of Faulkner!)
But did I truly believe I was a real writer? Apparently I did then, because I begged my mother to take my stapled-together manuscript to the public library and tell them to publish it (translation: add it to the shelves, as is.) It was my first rejection as an author, and did nothing to stem my zeal or the knowledge that I held the key to the Next Great Novel.
But somewhere along the journey to adulthood I lost that early confidence. Writing became a chore, not a joy. And when a teacher in high school bled all over one of my darlings with a red pen, the words “you have no style” became the nail in the coffin of my writing. I went on to become an English major in college, but I took as few writing courses as the syllabus would let me get away with. A chore became a sentence.
I graduated with a BA in English, which makes great paper for a bird cage, and eventually went back to get a certificate of teaching in elementary education. Safe, right? Kids would always think I was smart. I could write a complete sentence–I was a star!
But at the back of my mind was a niggling voice saying “you were meant to be a writer. What the hell are you doing? Write, already!” I ignored it. I already had a calling.
I got into the pregnancy and child raising thing, forgot about everything except Halloween costumes, playgroup and toilet training, and overdosed on parenthood. Until I reaslised that Sesame Street was raising my last child, and I needed to go back to work.
A job opened up at the local Catholic School, teaching English. I had to teach these bright-eyed kids how to use proper grammar, read the world’s great literature…and write. Gaauuugghhh! I read the textbook from cover to cover, and finally realized that if these kids were going to learn how to write, they had to enjoy it. And if they were going to enjoy it, I had to enjoy it. So I rewrote the fifth and sixth grade English syllabus. (I did not mention it to the nuns.)
I taught my students how to research and like it, to outline and like it, to create characters that they would go home and talk about to their parents. And in the process, I rediscovered my own love of writing. It took years of practice, but in the end I was a writer again. And I never looked back.
So…when can you call yourself a writer? When you publish? When Hollywood calls? When your fans outnumber the people in your home town–or your home?
No. You’re a writer when you write. A journal entry, a memoir, a short story for a local contest, or even a novel that only you will ever see. If you write, and you get that undefinable feeling that you’ve said something the way only you can say it, you’re a writer. When you take courage and post a chapter in a writer’s workshop, you’re a writer. And when you sell your first book, to a stranger who has never heard of you–and he likes it–you know for sure you’re a writer.
It’s been a long journey to discover this, but I am a writer.
Links for Writers
When Can You Call Yourself a Writer? https://thewritelife.com/call-yourself-a-writer/
12 Signs That You Are a Writer at Heart (And 3 Signs You Are Not) https://thewritelife.com/call-yourself-a-writer/
8 Signs You Were Meant to be a Writer https://writetodone.com/8-signs-that-you-were-meant-to-be-a-writer/
15 Obvious Signs That You Are a Writer https://www.lifehack.org/287156/15-obvious-signs-that-you-are-writer
The Hike, by Sarah Gribble
Is it ever too late for a good horror story? Halloween is behind us and we’re into the season of thankfulness, but it fits. After you read The Hike, you’ll be very thankful that you’re not spending Thanksgiving in the desert.
Dee didn’t want to go on the hike. What starts as an ordinary trip into the desert for four friends turns into a horrifying struggle for survival. Against nature. Against each other. Against what’s out there, lurking…
…waiting to pounce.
Get the book here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hike-Sarah-Gribble-ebook/dp/B07XCYFLS1/ref=sr_1_1?crid=OFIYHVIEOZBW&keywords=the+hike+sarah+gribble&qid=1572967129&s=books&sprefix=the+hike+sar%2Cstripbooks%2C159&sr=1-1
M MacKinnon’s World
The Piper’s Warning was launched by DartFrog Plus over the weekend!
My team of intrepid launchers took to social media to announce the second book in the Highland Spirits series. Another paranormal romance set in the magical Scottish Highlands, Kate Bianchi must deal with ghosts, Owls, and a very aggravating man who pushes every one of her buttons. A modern conspiracy has the two adversaries teaming to find Aubrey’s fiancé in a race against time and evil in another fast-paced trip through Scotland.
Available on Amazon and other online booksellers in paperback and ebook, as well as 70 independent bookstores (listed on Dartfrog’s website: across the US.
4 thoughts on “Volume 9 – When Can You Call Yourself a Writer?”
I loved the story of how you became a writer. It’s all the sweeter for having your hopes dashed and then rekindled later on. I wanted to smack that teacher with her cruel red pain. But look how you rebounded! What a journey life is.
I wholeheartedly agree that when you write, you’re a writer. Thanks so much for sharing your story. It makes me want to write!!
Fantastic observations! That was a great read.
Thanks! Glad you liked it.
Well, YOU are a writer, so yes–go write! And thanks for the support.