Am I a writer yet?

Yes, I am a writer.  I can say this, not because I have ever published a book (I haven’t) or had a story published (I have), but because whether or not anybody ever sees any thing that I ever write or not, I still write it.  Merriam-Webster defines a writer simply as “one that writes”.  To bastardize Shakespeare a litte: I write; therefore I am a writer.

I am an author.  The first definition, also from Merriam-Webster is: one that originates or creates.  I figure I create everyday when I sit at my computer and bravely charge into battle with the blank page.  The second definition of author is: the writer of a literary work.  I have completed three short stories and am about a third of the way through my  first novel so I think that I qualify in that regard, as well.

Now, I know that this pales in comparison to most writers, especially those of my advanced age.  I resisted the idea of writing for many, many years to the consternation of my high school English teachers and college composition professors.  All told me that I had an innate ability when it came to writing.  But there was just one problem: I hated to write.

That’s right. I said it. I am a writer that hates to write. I do not write because I have a burning need to share my ideas with the world at large.  In fact, I didn’t write a single piece of creative writing with the intent of showing it to another soul until I was 42 years old.  Frankly, the reason I decided to write was because there was a story I wanted to read, but it did’t exist.  Until then my fear of writer’s block kept me from ever seriously considering writing more than a grocery list.

However, once I started writing my novel, and connected with other writers through the internet, it started to snowball.  My three short stories were all written since the beginning of the year.  Writers are some of the most supportive and kind people you could ever hope to meet.  All of my shorts were written because another writer told me I could do it.  As a result, the first story I ever submitted was accepted for publication in an anthology.

It has taken me some time to stop answering the question, “What do you do?” with my stock answer of “Oh, I have seven kids.  I’m just a full-time mom.”  Now, I respond with, “I am a writer.”  Because being a mom, that’s who I am.  Being a writer, now, that’s what I do.

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