I’m honored to be a guest at Ritty’s Adventures in Writing today.
“When do you put ‘writer’ on your business card?”
I was about to teach a workshop at a writers conference when a woman in the front row asked me this question. I wasn’t sure I’d heard her correctly, so I asked her to repeat it.
It seemed an easy question to answer, and I gave her an easy response. But the question is more complicated than I made it. My own writing journey testifies to this. I’ve had business cards that say “writer, editor and speaker” on them for years, but that doesn’t mean I always believe I’m any of those things.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
In college, I was a mass communication major. We liked to joke that we were getting a B.S. in B.S. (For the record, I have a B.A.) I didn’t put a lot of thought into my major. I just knew that I liked to write. I took my first creative writing classes in college (and received my first soul-crushing critiques). But college is also where I began to see myself as a writer. And try as I might, I couldn’t deny it.
College is also where I heard a statement about writing that has stuck with me for more than a decade. Jane Friedman, a colleague at my college newspaper who has gone on to be an influential voice in the publishing and writing world offering countless words of wisdom to writers, spoke to a group about her self-discovery as a writer.
She said, “I don’t want to be a writer. I am a writer.”
Read the rest here.