Friday, August 31, 2012

What Counts

    I thought about it the other day and I guessed if I took the drafts, half-finished novels, finished novels, rewrites, blogs, anthologies, short stories, and character sketches that I've written over the last year, there would easily be over a thousand pages.  I don't have a published novel but I have two s*&%$ first drafts of two novels.  I have a half a novel I wrote in the month of July that is actually the length of a NaNoWriMo novel.  I have written eight short stories that compose The Charm or The Strikeout with two more installments to come.  My point is, I've written a lot of stuff.  Writing is my primary job these days but I don't have a steady paycheck from this.  In fact, I've never received money for my writer.  But am I still a writer?

     In my opinion, the answer is yes.

    I am currently in a stage where I am creating product.  Whether or not it sells remains to be seen but I am still a writer.  I can't just tap a magic wand to a stack of paper and say "Be a novel written by me."  I have to write it.  I wouldn't want to write a novel using the magic wand approach anyway.  It's more fun to write on my own and create my own product.

   I've had people question what I do or not understand that I really do work.  Yes, I can take a nap in the middle of the day (which usually leads to a later in the night writing session like I'm doing tonight).  I take breaks in the day to do laundry or domestic tasks.  I help with family stuff too.  Writing is fit into that.  And I like that.  I like that I can write in the morning and then spend the afternoon at a friend's house connecting in person rather than on a computer.  I like that I am available to help my grandma go to the store.  But I am still a writer even though I live in my office--literally.

     Do I need an office across town to be taken seriously?  Do I need to sell a million copies before I'm considered to be a writer?  Do I have to write a thousand words a day?  No.  I am a writer because I work hard and am consistent and serious about what I do.  I learn and grow every day.  Someday, the fruits of my labor will be in stores.  For now, I am planting the seeds and preparing for a harvest.

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