I enjoy writing.
I’ve enjoyed it since as long as I can remember and could put a pencil to paper. In high school, I took a creative writing course where the teacher raved, (o.k., maybe ‘raved’ is a bit strong) said I did good work. I’m still not sure whether it was because he actually liked my writing or because I didn’t act up in class and took it seriously. Regardless, though, it’s always nice to get feedback.
In college I took a writing course and the professor used to be an editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer. After reading some of my work, she asked me what my major was and I told her I was majoring in “I dunno…” . She encouraged me to give Journalism a shot…which I did…and enjoyed it for the most part…up until I was told that you had to ‘intern’ at a newspaper to graduate. I wasn’t thrilled with that aspect of the degree, so I slowly began to un-pursue my degree in Journalism, deciding that working two jobs would have to take priority over going to school.
Not a decision I’m most proud of….but one I made, nonetheless.
When I still lived in Kentucky and gathered with my regular (though some would call us ‘irregular’) gaming group, I would sometimes give running the game a shot. One of the main reasons being, it let me write a story. Granted, the stories had to be loose to try to fit in with the player’s background, but it was still fun adding background to the world we all shared. It got the creative juices flowing, so to speak.
Anyway, my main gist of this post is to ponder a question.
When do you call yourself a ‘writer’?
Is it just the fact that you enjoy writing and do it in your spare time? Is it after you have something published (magazine, book, etc.) or have gotten paid for a story or two? Is it when you are making an actual income from writing? Is it when you decide that you’re going to dedicate the time and effort to, actually, sit down and churn out the ‘Great American Novel’?
I’m not asking this because I’m going to start going around calling myself a ‘writer’ or anything like that. In my mind that would sound just too pretentious at this point.
“So, what do you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
“A writer? Oh, that’s very cool!’
“What have you written?”
“Ummm….some short…stories…some..blog posts…”
“Does it pay well?”
“Ummm….I wouldn’t know, yet….”
“Oh. Have you published anything?”
So….when do you call yourself a writer??