I recently made the acquaintance of a fellow writer at my day job. From different departments, we were both taking part in a meeting that called upon our day job skills when he let it slip that he was chosen among many to participate in an exclusive writing program the following week.
My fellow-writer-radar was immediately alerted.
“You’re a writer?”
He hesitated. “Well, I…I write screenplays, but I wouldn’t say I’m a writer.”
“Of course you’re a writer!” I said. “You’re a screenwriter. And you must be good if you’ve been invited to participate in this writing group.”
The talented young man’s reluctance to call himself a writer did not surprise me. There was a time when I hesitated in this same way, afraid that people would see me as some kind of wannabe writing loser.
I mean, what had I accomplished? I had only just a few articles published in a local parenting magazine. I wasn’t pulling in big money. I wasn’t famous. How could I dare count myself among those in such a vaunted profession?
And yet, those few articles turned into many hundreds more articles in magazines, newspapers and journals across the world and a decent living as a public relations and media professional. Still — no big money. No crazy fame. But, I am a writer because the words I write and the images that I create make it so; not some fancy literary agent ot a lucrative publishing contract.
Over time and throughout my career, I have coaxed myself to tell the world that I am a writer for one main reason – the world needs me. The world needs my ideas and stories. It needs my imagination and spunk and all things innovation. Just as it needs my co-worker’s screenplays – haven’t we seen enough of the Hollywood re-makes?
Have you declared yourself a writer today? If not, what’s stopping you?