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.