On Writing

Perhaps my parents could tell you stories of me misappropriating the church Xerox to make exactly 11 copies of my thoroughbred-themed novel when I was in 5th grade (11 was the number of people deemed worthy of receiving a personal copy, including teachers and friends. It was quite exclusive).

I’ve wanted to be a writer since a young age. It seemed like a pretty easy gig when I was a kid.

Naturally, I would be on the NYT bestseller list. I would have an out-of-this-world agent, book deal after book deal, and a publishing house to call home. I would become BFFs with my editor, and I would write in the open air, on a wooden desk by the water like Colin Firth in Love Actually (Do not EVEN tell me their love-crosses-language-barriers relationship didn’t make you SWOON).

Writing would be my only pursuit and career and source of income. Moleskins and National Book Awards galore.

Now my wiser, more sophisticated self, still wanting to be a writer, is reflecting on what that exactly means.

And I’ve decided it means none of the above.

A writer doesn’t earn her title by being well-recognized. (Just walk into a B&N. There are a million books by a million writers. The fact that I only recognize a small fraction of these writers doesn’t make them any less so.)

A writer doesn’t earn her title by being well-compensated. (All the free-lancers say ‘amen.’)

A writer doesn’t earn her title by being well-connected. (Self-publishers, I salute you.)

I am a writer because I have a unique perspective.

I am a writer because I have things to say.

I am a writer because I choose to actualize these things into words and coherent (or maybe not so coherent at times) thoughts.

And you, friend. You reading these words is also what makes me a writer.