Monday, September 13, 2010

Wise Words From A Wise Friend

When do you become a writer?

Is it when you are published? Is it when you are paid for your work? Is it the moment you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?

A few weeks ago, I missed an opportunity to grab my first publishing credit. A group project, to which I submitted three pieces, was slated to be published as a collection of flash and drabble stories. In the end, the final submissions would have made a very nice pamphlet, rather than the very nice book that could have been created if all of the original submissions had been sent for final consideration. So, the project was put on indefinite hold.

I don't know that one of my pieces would have made the final cut, but I thought that I had a pretty good chance and was eagerly awaiting the chance to see my name on paper. Well, paper that I hadn't typed up myself anyway.

I called my best friend for a gripe and moan session. I told her how disappointed I was that I had come so close to being able to call myself a real writer.

She listened patiently to my sob story, as she always does, and then told me that being published isn't what makes a real writer. Writing is what makes a writer. Needing to write is what makes a writer.

"If you want to be a writer, then write."

Her little pep talk was what I needed to remember that being able to call myself a writer isn't why I write. I write because I love it and I can't stop myself from writing. Not that I would want to stop. Ever.

Writer I am and writer I shall be.