Wednesday, 27 April 2011

'W' is for ... writer, and whether I'm one

I don’t suppose I’ll be the only blogger participating in the A-Z challenge that will post ‘W’ for ‘Writer's,' but am the only one who has a slight niggle inside about calling myself a writer?

It's hard to call yourself a writer when you don't have anything published.
If we're going to be precise, I suppose I'm a wannabe writer. I write, that's what writer's do (granted, I might be doing more blogging than writing at the moment - lol) but as a rule, I write every day. In fact,my family will tell you I'm a full time writer and sit at the laptop 24/7. That's not strictly true. I sleep in between. And eat. I just don't get paid for writing, yet, although I can't think of a writer I've met yet, who does it for the money.

I've written a novel. It wasn't good enough so I've re-written it. Three times at the last count. And I've started another. Well, I have the first couple of chapters. Then there are the jotted ramblings, characters, settings for another, I don't know how many, novels.

I can't tell you how frustrating it was when I had my latest flare up and subsequent surgery and couldn't write. There were times when I thought I might go seriously mad! I have to write or I become irritable and grumpy, and bored, and my brain won't shut down when I go to bed.

There’s nothing I prefer to do than write. If I was shipwrecked on a desert island, I'd need my laptop. Me and my best friend.

But then I can never be lonely while I have an internet connection, and the company of all of you lovely people, and most of you, other writers. You're the only people who really 'get' me. We get each other.

Writing is not just about being published. It's about a way of life - living, breathing, and sleeping writing. That's why I was up at 4.30am this morning, typing this. Sometimes, you have to give in to the inspiration for the next blog, or the next few paragraphs of the book.

Whenever I meet anyone and they ask me what I do for a living I rush to tell them that I had to retire because of ill health and I don't work. Sometimes I add quietly that I write, I'm working on my novel. I usually have two responses. 'Oh, I've always wanted to write a novel,' is quite common. I smile inwardly when I hear this, and ponder whether they've ever sat, day after day, night after night, typing, editing, crafting, toiling, all for a few sentences, which if they're still not good enough will be cut anyway.

The other comment I get, fires my belly, and spurs me on.

'Good for you,' they'll say. 'I wish I could write. Let me have a copy when you're published, will you?'

At this point, I'll relay the tale to hubby.

'Well, I'm not a writer, yet,' I say.

'Yes, you are,' he responds, then he rolls his eyes at the dishes stacked up on the kitchen worktop, and turns the oven on to make his own tea...

Until another day
Bye for now


cherie said...

I love this. I do understand. Last night I stayed up late writing even though I knew I had to get up early in the morning to take my kid to school. This week I haven't done the dishes, or the laundry, and I haven't got food in the pantry because I was writing. When I went on a writing break a few months ago, I felt strangely incomplete.

Good luck to you and keep on writing. Someday your ink-and-paper dream will come true. <3

Debs Carr said...

We are writers and one day we'll be published ones ;-)

Like you I feel grumpy if I can't write, it's like an obsession and I love doing it.

Recently I was waiting in the car for a friend who was running late, when she finally got to the car she apologised for the delay and I told her not to worry, I had a pad and pen and had been jotting down ideas for my wip. Nothing is wasted.

Charmaine Clancy said...

We are often harder on ourselves than we are on others. With your many blogger friends who write novels, I'll bet you consider them writers, even if their novels have not yet been published. You write, you're a writer. If you write poetry, you're a poet. Publishing is somebody else's job to worry about, your job is to write the material so they can publish it for you.
Finishing a novel is an amazing accomplishment. Definitely no small task - reward yourself, now do up a little sign with your name and.... WRITER underneath it. Place it on your study door, above your computer desk or contact it to the top of your laptop - it's who you are.
PS Thank you for the award before, that was really sweet.
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Wipso said...

Love your post. I've just read all about your surgery. Bless you.
A x

Anonymous said...

Writing is most definitely something that's in us, as writers. For the more high-profile writers, I guess it is money that drives them on, but when one writes for pleasure in the hope of having that book published, it's the passion that's the driving force. It certainly is for me anyway.

CJ xx

Fennie said...

Don't know if you read 'Any Human Heart' by William Boyd. When at the end of his life he dies (don't we all have this irritating tendency) he arranges for a small headstone which doesn't say, au Spike Milligan, 'I told you I was ill' but instead


I think that's beautiful and of course he was many other things along the way and seems to have burnt most of what he wrote. Mind you he was fictional and so perhaps can be excused.

So of course you are a writer. It's what you do. Lowry was a painter and I learned the other evening didn't sell a painting until he was 52 and then really only by accident. But would it have been accurate to call him a rent collector?

Tara Tyler said...

so the need to write courses through your veins - you're a writer whether you like it or not!
keep at it =)
happy w day!

Caitlin Vincent said...

I loved this :)

Frances said...

No doubt about it, you surely are a writer. And will continue to be one!


Karen Walker said...

Oh,I went through the same litany when I quit my job in 1999 to write full-time. In our society, if we're not earning money, we're not successful. So if we're not published, we're not writers. Bunk! You are most definitely a writer. YOu write. Therefore, you are a writer. Recently, I had to let go of even that label, because it felt phony. Now I say I'm retired. And I write. It's not a career.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm unpublished but I still consider myself a writer. Maybe I'm not supposed to but I do it anyway.

I too get grumpy when/if I can't write.

Anonymous said...

If you're writing and learning, you're a writer.

Thanks for such an inspirational post!!!

Bish Denham said...

If you write, you are a writer. Publication has little to do with it. Think of Emily Dickinson.

Talli Roland said...

Anyone who writes is a writer!

But it took me awhile to get comfortable with it, too.

Tattie Weasle said...

Writing isn't something you do it is something you are... me, I'm a lazy writer. I should write all the time I just nevetr quite get round to it as I don't feel I am good enough...but I still write in spite of myself!

Pauline Barclay said...

Loved the post and of course you are a write and we will be out there buying your book too....have faith! We have :) Keep writing and keep us smiling with your Blogs..please! x

Mari G said...

I don't think there's any doubt that you're a writer, reading the flow and content of your posts is enough to prove that.
Having said all that, I do share your doubts, maybe a lot of people who write(eh, writers, that is) have doubts. Maybe it's part of the way we are.
Great post, as usual

Norma Murray said...

Of course you are a writer, so keep at it, you'll get there someday (soon?)

Caroline said...

great post BSM! I've really enjoyed your A-Z journey. Caroline x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You are a very good writer, Debbie, as anyone reading this blog will confirm. This is your writing platform while you redraft your novels and await other publication. And that day will come when you realise you've been honing your talent all this time, ready for even greater things - and we're all spurring you on!

Caroline said...

Ohhhh and you are *definitely* a writer ;o)

M Pax said...

Yes, you're a writer. :)

The day I sent my first query off, pathetic as it was, I started to call myself one.

Arlee Bird said...

If you are writing then you are a writer. If you get published then you are an author. That's the way I understand it. So it sounds to me that you are a serious writer with the intent of becoming published. Then you will feel the legitimacy of authorship and be more empowered to write. Don't stop what you're doing!

Tossing It Out

Joanne said...

All writers start out unpublished, learning the ropes as they go. It's part of the writing journey, so I'd say that published or not, yes, you ARE a writer :)

Lucy Adams said...

" I have to write or I become irritable and grumpy, and bored, and my brain won't shut down when I go to bed. " --Me too!


Anita said...

What a wonderful post! And I truly believe that anyone who can't STOP writing is a writer, whether pubbed or not. So embrace the title, my friend. For indeed, you are a writer. :)

Friko said...

Not a writer? what nonsense.

Writers write, and as that is what you do, that's what you are.

Guess what, I too live in the South Shropshire Hills. In a little village which gets most offended when people from off don't realise that it is really a town. - because it has a 'town hall'. Enough of a clue?

Sue Guiney said...

Excellent. And true.

Ebendy said...

Hello! hope you good.I just want to say this is a great post.Really nice of you sharing it up here.Am staying in touch for more.Keep it up.
Meanwhile plz do check my blog on freeing your mind read it,follow,be inspired and comment to improve my works too.Have a wonderful day.

LisaAnn said...

I just wandered over from Anita's blog, and I look forward to getting to know you better! Congrats on your awards! :)

Rob-bear said...

Of course you're a writer. We have the written evidence in front of us.

"Guilty as charged of being a writer," I say. And "that's 30" on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Damn. You already did 'Z' but I only just arrived. So there's my life story but my blog is only two days old.

Love your stockings anyway. Blue is the colour.

About Last Weekend said...

Hi there, came through tattie Weasle. Good on you, we've all got to hope our writing will lead somewhere. Just doing it all the time makes you better, though sadly not my spelling.