I’ve always been interested in writing, but saying “I’m a writer” feels like such a bold, daring thing to do – such a big step forward. I had a lot of trouble advertising myself as a writer. Writing is a hobby. Something you do apologetically, unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.
I used to think that you couldn’t call yourself a writer unless you got paid for writing. Then I hit that milestone, but it didn’t make things any easier. I thought, maybe you can only really feel like a writer when you write fiction. There’s something that seems more creative, more true to the nature of the word, to produce a story out of thin air, rather than just reporting on the facts.
Now I’ve written a few stories, and some of them even won some contests, and I figure, if I can’t call myself a writer now – is it ever going to happen? If I’m waiting until my paperbacks are in airports and I can sell out the Skydome in Toronto for a reading – as Rowling did once at the height of Harry Potter mania – then I’ll be waiting forever.
Forever seems a little too far away.
So I’m going to own it now – I’m a writer.
If you like to write, you are too. I hope we can take this wild and crazy trip together.