I happen to catch the Bamboo Killers blog entry (some strong language) about being a writer – specifically E.B. was saying that she wasn’t a writer and was wrestling with getting on with her life. Bastante. It was a very honest post and I’m glad that she hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. But I disagree with her a little. Or do I?
She wrote that despite validation and winning a major contest, she wasn’t a writer. Her basis? She isn’t making a living writing. It’s the same discussion I’ve read a dozen times in the last year. What makes you a writer? I have an opinion and it isn’t tied to the money.
But what does everyone else consider a writer? We have labels based on occupations – teacher, sailor, soldier, spy – so it’s easy to know who fits in. But what about me? I teach a lot even though I’m not called a teacher. I can juggle too, but I’m not called a juggler. Of course the guy on stilts at the beach isn’t a juggler either even though we call him one. He’s a creative writing major at the local university trying to earn tuition money so he can become a teacher.
So what gives? I suspect it has to do with the idea that we all learn to write and so many people have ideas for stories and wrote poems in love letters/texts. What makes you so special that you can be called writer while I can’t? For too many people the only proof is the paycheck.
For me it’s far simpler. If I don’t write, I explode. Ergo, I’m a writer. Just not yet a commercially successful one.
|For a dog person, Emily sure has a lot of cat pictures on her blog|