(***This post was originally posted on Open Salon on January 20, 2011. Please see this post about my decision to migrate to WordPress…if you’re interested.***)
I’m a writer.
I have a hard time saying that. If you look at it in it’s simplest terms, of course I’m a writer, in the same way I’m a reader. I read, ergo I’m a reader. I write, ergo I’m a writer. Everyone is a writer – everyone writes emails and blog posts and grocery lists.
It’s the job title aspect of “writer” that I’m uncomfortable with. When someone asks, “What do you do for a living,” I would love to reply, “I’m a writer.” But of course the follow up to that is, “Oh, anything I’ve read?” And then I would have to say, “Oh, I’m not published.” At which point the person smiles and nods, then turns around and rolls his eyes. Right, a writer, and I’m freaking President of the United States.
But I am a writer, by the most basic definition. I am also an author, by the most basic definition. So why do I have a hard time saying so?
I’ve written a couple of full length manuscripts, although I haven’t edited them or submitted them to an agent (yet). I’ve written numerous short stories, never considering possible publication. And don’t get me started on the number of blog entries I’ve written, some more literary and thought provoking than others.
I was working on a writing prompt today, out of The Daily Writer, about motivation. What motivates me to write?
While musing on that prompt, I realized that writing (for public consumption), for me, is like having a baby. I’ve brought this thing into the world, this thing that only exists because of me, and it will affect the world, however minutely, just by existing in the public forum.
My writing is the flap of a butterfly’s wings.