by Kristi Belcamino
Are you a writer?
Here's a simple quiz:
Do you write?
Yes? You're a writer.
No. You're not a writer.
At some point, all of us have to take ownership of being a writer. I believe if you truly want to be a writer, you write. And you call yourself a writer.
If you write, you can ditch that weak willy nilly "aspiring writer" title and dive right in.
I had to do that.
My ego didn't want to call myself a writer. In fact, I spent about thirty years avoiding calling myself one. After all, after scrapping my first novel at age 11, I was scared to death of writing fiction. Who was I to think I could write a book and be a "writer" - the most glorious and elusive and magical career in the world?
So, I got a journalism degree and poured my heart into newspaper writing and reporting. I was a REPORTER. Not a writer.
And then - THANK GOD - I got older. I turned forty and glory days, realized I didn't care anymore about what anyone thought, which gave me the freedom to sit down and write a fiction book.
So, I sat down to write and decided to call myself a writer. I even bought this mug so I could look at it every morning and remind myself that I WAS A WRITER. For reals.
And who knew? People liked my book. An agent liked it and then a publisher liked it.
But even before anyone else liked it, I claimed the title and owned it: I am a writer.
How about you?
I remember how nervous I was the first time I answered "writer" to the question, "What do you do?". It felt as if I'd outed myself! Now it feels normal.
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