In preparation for a conference I will be attending in a few weeks I have been talking to a lot of people. I don’t do well in crowds and it was suggested by my therapist- yes that kind of therapist- that I should take the time to meet people on the internet that will be attending this thing. This way it would be more like meeting up with friends rather than jumping into the coliseum with the word victim stamped on my forehead.
I made a few contacts and was pleased with the way things were going until I ran into someone who said that because I was not published I was not a real writer and she had nothing to say to me. I was a little shocked at her response but let it go as just another one of those internet harpies I obviously rubbed the wrong way. The upside to being dis’d was it did make me stop and ask myself: When am I officially a USDA inspected and approved writer?
Is it when your first piece shows up in print? Well...I wrote for the school newspaper in high school (student body population 960) so that would make me a writer since the late 70’s.
Is it when you sub something to a publisher for the first time? Hmmm…I submitted poetry to a few anthologies back in the early 80’s.
Is it when you put stuff on the internet to share with others in a public forum? Let’s see…I put my first blog up on my MySpace page in July 2008.
Or is it perhaps the moment you put pen/pencil to paper and wrote your first words of a piece. I’ve been writing since I was 12 and I’ll turn 48 on July 1st. If that’s the case then I have been a writer for a VERY long time.
So what do you think? At what moment in time will you, or did you, consider yourself a real writer?