On Being – Or Not Being – a Writer
I am a writer.
This much is true. I am paid for writing. It’s my career. I am a professional writer.
It’s a dream of a career. I never expected I’d get to say it. I thought I’d always have to explain that I had some overcomplicated job in a corporation or an agency, in which I got to write things, sometimes, occasionally. It never really occurred to me to hope to get to do my favorite thing for a living.
But, today, I am a writer.
I still feel a bit ashamed, though. Because it feels like I’m cheating a bit. As though a “real writer” would be an “author,” a creator, and I’m not enough of that to count.
If I were really a writer, wouldn’t I write fiction? Wouldn’t I be able to invent worlds and happenings and narratives? Or be an essayist; turn my life into something as interesting as fiction?
Instead I mostly research and interview and write. And I love it. I truly do. It fascinates me. It isn’t a second choice. It makes me happy, it makes me interested, it makes me feel like I’m doing something worth doing. It’s not as though I have stories in my head, clamoring to be told. I don’t. But that’s exactly what feels wrong. I feel like a “real” writer would have those stories. Wouldn’t she?
And I think perhaps what catches me up is that I’m not entirely sure whether I don’t have them…. or I never really asked myself if I did.