This is the first draft of my project. I would like to use one of the digital tools to link to very short interviews of some of the people in my life. I will be asking, "What defines a writer?" and "Am I a writer? Why/why not?"
That Writing Journey
When do you become a writer? At what point can you call yourself a writer? Is it what’s inside that defines me as a writer? Does my mind work in a certain way that places me in this role? Or is it the output? Do I need to produce something tangible? What specifically do I need to produce to earn the coveted title of writer? Is there a word count requirement? A certain format to follow? Should I be published before I call myself a writer? Do I need to wait for a HarperCollins or a Random house to start breaking down my door? Will it count if I publish myself? Was I a writer back in 1996, when I was just a ten year old girl writing her first chapter book in her little-girl bedroom? Does someone need to read my work in order for it to count? If so, how many readers do I need? Specifically. Who gets to judge my writing? Teachers? Mom? Husband? Best Friend Who Hates Reading? Dog? We all know that business about the tree falling in the woods and blah, blah blah… Well if I write, but no one ever reads it, was I ever a writer at all? What if I never finish writing that novel (or that other one)? Worse yet, what if I publish that novel (or that other one) to great success, but can never write anything of value ever again? What if I am the Right Said Fred of writing? Do I need to be a serious writer? There are 56 people following a Vampire Diaries fan fiction that I started in 2012 (and never intend to finish); it has been viewed over 7,000 times. Am I a writer yet? Do I need to earn more than reviews to be a real writer? If so, does that coveted title get handed over along with the first reader’s dollar, or do I need to earn a certain amount before I’m deserving of such a title? If I write a blog, will real writer’s scoff at me? Will they let me join their club? What if I write a thesis, but can’t string together a few lines of dialogue? What if I produce narrative after narrative but can’t remember what a haiku is? What if I’m published posthumously? Was I a writer in life? What if, after I’m famous and very much dead, my husband finds those horrifyingly, humorously embarrassing poems that I wrote when I was eight and publishes those too? Should I leave a note in my will to burn those poems and never let them see the light of day? Is there a specific moment when you become a writer? Is it the first time that you write in your diary, or that time that you wrote your first chapter book at age ten in your little-girl bedroom, or when you penned all of those horrifyingly, humorously embarrassing poems, or when you wrote fan fiction or a blog post or a narrative, or when you got an A in that composition class, or finished that novel (or that other one), or got an agent and then a publisher, or when you first saw one of your novels on a bookstore shelf or in the library or on Amazon, or was it when you finally remembered what a haiku is and actually tried your best (and failed) to write one? Is this the point that I can call myself a writer?