- I'll be running into people I haven't seen in a while.
- Many will be people I do not want to see.
- They will not want to see me either, but for some unknown reason, we will both pretend.
- They will ask me what I'm doing.
- I will not have an answer, or at least not the answer I want to have.
But more importantly, I felt good. I LOVED my job. I was good at it; my feedback and evaluations ranked me equivalent to a veteran teacher. My colleagues and mentors praised my professionalism, creativity, and work ethic. My relationship with the kids and community was positive. I went back for my M.Ed. With all that in my back pocket, I was proud when I ran into people and could fill them in on my post-college life.
Now, not so much.
Working as a part-time tutor and tirelessly searching to fix my life is hardly the conversation I want to have with old friends. And I can't really call myself a writer, even though I write seven days a week for at least four hours.
Or can I?
Thanks to this amazing and timely post from JM Tohline, I realize I can. He helped me put things in perspective. A writer, simply put, is one who writes. That makes make me a writer.
True, I am not published. True, I have not completed my manuscript. True, I'm not as talented or skilled as the professionals. But those are things that make someone an author. And every successful, award winning, best selling author begins exactly where I am now - alone, in front of a computer (or piece of paper), writing. I do the EXACT same job as the rest of the industry. I've had ideas, created a story, and written words. Therefore, I do not have to consider myself an aspiring writer. I can simply tell people, when asked, I'm currently a writer.
Below is JM's post that helped validate my feelings. I highly recommend his site; this guy knows his stuff! Thanks to my virtual colleague for helping me (and many others) feel accomplished.
Hi, My Name Is So-And-So, And I Am An Aspiring Writer
the writer of a literary work (as a book)
one who writes
All the time, I see people who say (on Twitter, on facebook, on blogs, on colorful neck tattoos, etc.) that they are "an aspiring writer."
As soon as you put words on this page, you are a writer.
It's only been over the last few months that I've been able to tell people I'm an author (actually, I'm not sure I've told anyone that yet; it's quite the habit-adjustment to change from saying "I'm a writer" to saying "I'm an author"), but I've been telling people since the age of 15 that I am a "writer."
I feel like you're selling yourself short when you call yourself an "aspiring writer." Buck up! Have some confidence!
Unless, of course, you only aspire to write. In which case...well, the road ahead is long. You better pack a lunch.
From the blog of JM Tohline