For a long time I could not find it within myself to say, “I am a writer.” Despite having written content for several blogs, a full-length screenplay, a memoir that has sold better than 90% of self-published books typically sell, and a hopefully-soon-to-be-published novel, I just could not bring myself to take on the mantle of ‘’writer.” Writers are the accomplished, talented, intellectually-endowed authors I have revered throughout my lifetime. How dare I claim the title which they have won with their toil and wordcraft? What down-to-my-knees cajones must I need in order to use the moniker that they have earned and I have not? And then I began to think about it.
Why should I not say, “I’m a writer,” in response to the question of what I do to earn a living? And while there are several reasons that I should instead answer, “I’m retired,” reasons such as (1) I do not earn a living from my writing (although the monthly royalties nearly cover my coffee bills), (2) I have yet to produce the body of work that has been subjected to critical review, and (3) I find that a lot of the stuff I’ve written really sucks. In doing some research, though, I have learned that (1) most writers do not make enough from their authorial efforts to keep them in ink, (2) many writers have scant production to boast about, and (3) their stuff really sucks too, at least, according to the writers themselves who frequently lament the suckiness of their work.
I have concluded that my claim to writerdom is at least as good as many of my ilk who call themselves “writer,” so in future, when someone asks me what I do, the answer will be, “I am a writer,” though I will say it softly while looking at the tops of my shoes. Still, to paraphrase Descartes, “I write, therefore I am (a writer).”