In one of the interviews I did about my book I was asked when I started considering myself a writer. The answer is “a long time ago” but also “just recently”.
Lisa Haselton interviewed me for her her book reviews and author interviews blog. She asked, “when did you first consider yourself a writer”. Here is what I said:
“I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I was always writing. But there were levels of accepting myself as a “writer”. When I won my first poetry prize from a zine in my early 20’s I felt like I’d accomplished something as a writer. When I started getting paid to do writing work (also in my early twenties) and started actually putting “writer” as my occupation on my taxes was another landmark. When I published my first book I felt like a real author. But it’s taken about ten years of full-time writing work and the publishing of this first book that truly came from my own heart and mind to really, fully, 100% embrace that I’m a writer, every day, forever.”
Becoming a Writer is an Ongoing Process
My point here is that it’s impossible to define what a writer is. Is a writer someone who writes every day? Can you be a writer if you aren’t writing but have previously been published? Or if you write but haven’t yet been published? Is a writer someone who is paid to write full time? Is a writer someone who is called a writer by others or just by the self?
I believe that the whole process of what it means to be a writer is an ongoing ever-changing process. It can mean different things to you at different times to be a writer. I was a writer when I was a child. I am a writer today. I have been at various stages of being a writer in between. What does it mean to you to be a writer?