It's a scary thing, calling myself a writer.
First, a little background. I never really thought about writing stories growing up, but I composed situations with characters in my head ALL THE TIME. I still totally have conversations that characters I've created would have. Out loud. Like me talking. To myself.
I got hired to teach English and Creative Writing five years ago. I freaked, having NEVER taken a creative writing class in my undergrad. I didn't know what to do, where to start, how to help these kids. I considered myself a pretty adequate analytical writer, but the creativity was a challenge.
Soon, however I figured out that I loved the Creative Writing class, and it dawned on me to write my stories down.
Within the last few years, I've been chasing this dream, but couldn't refer to myself as a writer. Not really sure why. But then I attended conferences and increasingly realized this was a passion, a dream, something I needed to chase.
Now I call myself a writer. Many people who I share this with smile and nod, wondering when a book is coming out, etc. I bet there are five people I know outside of blogland who would also include writer in a description of me. But I still do.
Then I saw this quote about runners and when someone can refer to themselves as a runner and thought it was perfect for us writers.
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. - John BinghamI call myself a writer. I dream about characters, plots, settings. I squish writing in to any precious time I have, trying to improve, flesh out my craft, develop characters I love.
People who have a dream will get it, people who don't won't. But I no longer feel the necessity to validate myself. Or justify it to anyone.
I am a writer.