Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting Used to Being a Writer

My boss told me that I am not a writer this morning.

Which I’m sad to say is true, in the sense of my job. At the Indie publisher where I work, I am not a writer. I’m not an editor, nor am I in the Editorial department. Therefore, I’m not supposed to comment on manuscripts, title queries, spelling, grammar, style or anything in relation to writing.

I am chained to a cubicle, where I can’t do what I love or help the authors I’m assisting with those kind of questions, who are also trying to do what they love. Though, maybe they don’t love it like I do (trust me I'm sure some don’t) but it is difficult to say that I can’t help them in that aspect.

But still I tell them no. Even though helping them will help my writing, it will not help my job.

Now, notice how I call it a job and not a career. I am lucky enough to have a job related to my dream career, and one that has taught me a lot about the publishing process. And even though I don’t write or edit at this job, I do help others as they move through our submission process. Which is kind of fulfilling. On occasion.

Anyway, back to my boss, he said: “You’re not a writer.” (Don’t worry it wasn’t out of the blue, it was in context to an author issue.)

So I told him: “Well that’s not true, but I’m letting him know that I can’t comment on his editing question, which is true.”

He didn’t say anything, but apparently I’m getting defensive now if people assume that I’m not a writer, even if I’ve never told them otherwise. Maybe that means that I’ll start telling people outright soon. You know, not in the removed safety of my blog, but in actual face-to-face conversation.

So I guess now I’ll have to come up with an answer to: “What do you write?”

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who am I?

I am a… reader. But, a writer?

The books along my wall say I’m a reader. They whisper it from their thousands of pages. My overstocked bookshelf dedicated to teen fantasy screams it pretty loud. My special Harry Potter shelf—British editions (be jealous)—have it scrawled into their spine.

I read, sometimes too much. But, am I a writer?

I was a writer in 3rd grade, when I wrote a story about a hidden unicorn valley behind my grandparents’ house. In high school, I wrote about a horse stable fire in 18th century England that turned one girl’s dream of freedom to a duty to stay with her family. And now, age undetermined, I write about assassins and soldiers in a dystopian future.

But for some reason, I’ve never considering myself a “writer.” Don’t you have to be a published author? Or at least have a publisher willing to print you? Even just have an agent that believes in you? Does a supportive boyfriend work?

Wait, are you saying I can just call myself a writer, and it will be true? I can just write every day, even if it’s only in my head, and consider myself a writer? Yes, that’s a question.

I write every day. Whether it’s quickly jotting down my dream from the previous night (intriguing in their impossibility). Or pulling open my latest draft on my lunch break. Or having a conversation in my head with two fictional people that I’d created seconds before. Or updating my to-do list.

Okay, I see how that last one doesn’t count.

So, maybe I am a writer. My Rowling-size dreams say I could be. Maybe if I believe it, I will act it, and then it will come true!  Even though that sounds fluffy and Disney-esque, it’s so happy! My dream can come true. So let’s start by saying it:


And a big thank you to Jeff Goins, who provided me a deadline to finally get this blog up and running. Please visit him and his inspiration at