I’ve heard it since I became a freelancer. If you want to call yourself a writer, you must write—every day—whether someone pays you or not. Sounds about right. If you put your thoughts on paper consistently, whether in a journal or for The New York Times, you’re a writer.
Now you can’t claim to be professional unless someone is willing to purchase your scribbles. Luckily for me, I have been one for years now, so I can go around boasting of my ability to turn each word into nickels and dimes for the articles, blog posts, or pages I submit. The process is simple: I’m assigned a project, I write, I submit, it’s edited then published on a website for customers to read.
But I Want to Be an Author
But somehow, I feel that’s not my calling. I’ve been pointing my pen toward the pages of my first novel, which has consumed the better part of two years. These words have been held close to me, not available to most for fear of the absence of Copywrite protection and spoiling the end. It will be a classic, I’m sure, now that I’m finished and have spent the past two weeks querying agents and publishers who are sure to get me a book deal (not yet) and publish this future bestseller. However, my work is not out for public consumption to hear what others may think.
But I Keep Writing
Oh, I haven’t been neglecting my writing time, up before sunup every day at least six days a week pounding at the keyboards to write or edit or proofread, getting my work to the powers that be. That’s not to say I haven’t heard some feedback. I have; mainly in form letters saying— “your manuscript does not sound like a good fit for me at this time, so I will have to pass.” So much for my bestseller.
I Should Have Never Left
Because I write most days with my business and have spent many hours each week with my book, I have forgotten about this blog, and that was a mistake. It’s where I can hear how well I’m doing, or not. It’s where I can put my creativity out there for review and critique. Like the musician or comic who performs publicly, honing their art in front of strangers each night, I will look to you—the reader, to improve my craft.
Writing is Fun
I’ve been enjoying my time writing my novel. I felt my emotions ebb-and-flow during scenes, in dialogue, and in pivotal moments when I was deep in the story. But like the actor turned spy in William Shaara’s Killer Angels “with the absence of an audience…it’s very hard on an actor.” I feel him. Until the writer of novels becomes published, it’s hard on a writer as well.
Which brings me to why I write this post; I’m committing to
this blog (again) to contribute each week. It’s where I will get better as a
writer, and perhaps someday become an author. I can only
keep writing and pray.