The realization that I am a writer hasn’t hit, and I’m not sure it will. I’m very involved with writing — I belong to various groups; I talk a lot about writing; and even when I’m not writing creatively, I’m writing: blogs and articles, comments and emails. But I don’t define myself as a writer. When you consider all that being a published writer entails — promotion, engendering good will, etc — writing is a small very small part of the whole.
Of course, when I’m accepting the Nobel Prize for literature a dozen years from now, perhaps then the realization will hit. (You do know I’m joking, right?)
A few people responded that of course I was a writer, and they are right — I do write, therefore I am a writer. I even have two books published. But the question was: when did the realization hit? And it never did. My journey to becoming a writer was a long, smooth (or almost smooth; let’s just forget about those 200+ rejections) journey from first draft to second, from second draft to edits, from edits to proof to copy-edits, from proof to finished book. I saw so many copies of my proofs that when I received the final book, it never struck me as being different from the proofs I’d struggled over. Even the demarcation between being published and not being published was smeared. A month or so before A Spark of Heavenly Fire and More Deaths Than One showed up in print, I noticed that they were available from Second Wind Publishing as ebooks. I don’t know how long they’d been on the site, but their availability made me a published author, and I wasn’t aware of it.
I’m sure if I was making a living off my writing, I’d define myself as a writer. And if I won the Nobel Prize, I might. But still . . . I blog more than I write creatively, but I don’t call myself a blogger. I promote more than I blog, but I don’t consider myself a promoter. I sleep more than I promote, but I don’t call myself a sleeper. (Though some people might.)
But how I define myself isn’t the question. The question is: When did the realization “I am a writer” hit? And my response holds true. I never did have that realization.