Thursday, June 23, 2011

Calling Myself A Writer

I started writing as soon as I could pick up a pencil.  I wrote poems and short stories and drew pictures.

I started writing seriously when I was 18, and finished my first novel.  Over 100,000 words, in fact.  From there, I wrote over 20 novel-length stories, querying agents here and there but nothing serious.

But I still never called myself a writer.

I don't work, so I would respond to an inquiry about a job saying, "Oh, I'm a student."

It wasn't because I didn't believe I wasn't a writer.  It was because unless you're a writer, you don't understand what it's like to BE a writer.

A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out with a group of friends.  One of them commented on what a hard day at work she had - she works as a nurse at a private practice; you know, the one who comes in and takes your vitals - and asked, "Did any of you actually work today?"

Every one of my friends has a job.  Except me.  I know I'm lucky.  I don't have to work.  But I did have a long day that day - it took me four hours to revise four chapters of the novel I hope to one day publish.  That was when I actually really considered myself a writer.  And I told her as much.  She brushed off my statement and rolled her eyes before changing the subject.

Besides the fact that I was incredibly offended at the lack of seriousness she was providing my chosen career with especially considering she was supposed to be my best friend, I knew she didn't understand.  She couldn't.  She'll probably never write a book in her life.  She'll never finish one.  She'll never understand what it takes to create characters, a logical and compelling story, finish it, and then revise it.  Never understand how much blood, sweat, and tears go into a novel.  Never understand what it's like to have the patience to go over details to your story, wait for those agent responses.  Because she's not a writer.

I know what it's like to be a receptionist.  I worked at a movie theatre for 2 years back in high school, dealt with guests, answered phones, sold tickets, ushered, and was a concessionist.  I know it's exhausting, even if you're sitting down the entire time.  And I don't take any of that away from her.  The least she could do is support what I want to do, even if she can't understand it.

And that's another reason why I really don't claim to be a writer.  I'm not yet published - I don't even have an agent! - and therefore I'm not getting paid.  If I say I'm a writer, people do what my friend did; they humor me but don't take what I'm doing seriously.  Apparently, simply writing isn't a job, it's a hobby.

But that's okay.  I don't mind saying I'm just a student (even though, after that 4 hours, I considered myself a non-paying worker because seriously - 4 hours!) because I know that one day, I will be able to say I'm a writer.

And then, everyone will take me seriously.  For the most part.


  1. I can promise you you'll be able to call yourself a writer. :) I do think it's sad though, that your best friend doesn't fully support what you do.

    Frankly, my best friend and I aren't really that close. I mean, we CALL each other best friends, and when someone asks, we're best friends. But I don't FEEL like we're best friends like how Sadie and Natasha are.

    A lot of her opinions I think are really insane and stupid, but I've learned to respect them anyways. And I'm sure she thinks the same of some of mine. She's more religious than I am, which tends to drive me nuts - inside.

    One that really got to me was when we were talking about gays. She said that being gay was a sin and an abomination and whatever. Then I asked her, 'If you have a son who's gay, what would you do?'
    To that she said, 'I'd be very mad at him. Indeed. But that doesn't mean I won't love him. I'd just be very mad at him. And I'd let him know that I'm mad at him.'

    That one just really pissed me off. I mean, he's your son! Letting him know that you're mad at him because of who his is, should be counted - in my opinion - as psychological abuse. Okay well, not really. But I think she should support him no matter what. That way he'll learn the meaning of that quote:
    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I'm not."
    Though, he may just learn this himself.


    I'm sorry for dumping this on you. I really love how you write though. Whether it's your stories or on your blog. :)

    ~ Ice Bubble

  2. Ice Bubble - How many times do I have to tell you just how sweet you are? Thank you so much for your encouraging words. They mean so MUCH to me.

    When it comes to your friend, I'm sorry to hear you're going through something like that. I had to go through the same thing when I was in middle school. The best thing I can tell you is to stick up for your beliefs. If she's your friend, she'll support you - whether she agrees or not. But sometimes, issues such as religion and sexual preferences can break up friendships, relationships, etc. Don't let the thought of losing somebody - ANYBODY - change who you are. The right people will accept you exactly for who you are and what you believe. :)

    Hope you had a wonderful Fourth!