I'm back at the blog after a bit of a break. This week a blogger sent me a list of interview questions that I'm supposed to answer. It's long and juicy, and it's going to take me a while to get through. I thought I'd answer one of the questions each day as my blog topic. (Two birds...) Today's question is: "You probably get asked this a lot, but for my readers, please tell us…was there a ‘moment’ in your life where you decided ‘I am going to be a writer!’ "
Here's my answer:
Here’s the funny thing: I’m still not even sure I am a writer! This has always been a bit of an issue for me. I’ve always written, but even when people were paying me to write things, I still assumed that I was not hip enough, or smart enough, or something enough to actually be a writer. And the other thing is, I don’t need to write to be happy. If I don’t write for a while, I don’t feel like I’m going to die. There’s this lore that seems to be perpetuated by pretty much every writer who’s ever been interviewed that if you’re a “real” writer, you have to write. By that standard, I’m not a writer. I’m just someone who writes some of the time. When The Book of Beings came upon me, as it were, then I felt like a writer in that sense. Not that I had to write something, or anything, but that I had to write that particular story. Now that I’m done with the drafting stage of it, the feeling has subsided. Every once in a while, I get glimpses of the next project that might be, the one that might take over my life and make me feel like a writer in that way again, but I don’t completely welcome it. Being that kind of writer can be disruptive. It means your bills get paid late. It means—and this is the hardest part for me—that you sometimes neglect (though not in any serious way) your child.
I’m not sure what is at stake in being a writer or not being a writer. I suppose no more is at stake than any particular person chooses to believe is at stake. But it is important to me to tell the truth about my experience with writing in case there are other people out there who feel the same way that I do. I want there to be many different stories about what it could be like to be a writer, not just one dominant one. I want all of us who write to have options to consider ourselves writers or not, as we like.
What about you, dear readers? Are you writers yourselves, of any variety? Does it matter to you whether you say you are a writer or not?