Today I am most fortunate to have a guest post from the lovely Sherry Isaac. She is an award-winning writer whose work sometimes takes her to unexpected places. Read on to see whether or not we can all truly call ourselves writers...
E R, the two most important letters to a writer. Er can mean a lot of things to those who have chosen this profession called writing. Or has the profession chosen us?
Er, what should I blog about?
Er, should I open my WIP, or watch Grey’s Anatomy?
Er, how will I build my platform? Er, should I build a website or blog? Er, plotter, or pantster?
But the great E R is also a suffix. By definition, one who writes is a writER. That is how the English language is constructed. One who paints is a painter, one who counts is a counter, one who kisses is a kisser. The act of doing makes one a doer.
So why is it that when a new, as yet unpublished writer confesses their craft, she is asked to support her claim with a published book.
No matter how much talent or promise, no matter how many years spent learning the craft, no matter how many queries are made, no matter how many partials or fulls are requested, no matter how close she has come, if a book can not be found on a shelf in the local bookstore with her name in bold letters on the cover, the pronouncement is made.
“Oh, you’re not a real writer,” comes the verdict, through lips so pinched the speaker might be sucking on lemons.
Then from where, pray tell, did the reams and reams of printed pages in my office come from?
Embracing the phrase, I am a writer, is a risk. The confession opens us up to scrutiny, people ask for proof, so until you score that NYT label, you may want to tread carefully, and be selective about whom you share your profession with.
Ray Bradbury, in his address to to The Point Loma Nazarene University, shared this bit of advice:
“Get rid of friends who don’t believe in you.”
Well. we may not have to go so far as getting rid of friends. (I surely won’t. Nerd that I am, friends are hard to come by!)
Some friends will come around, and learn to respect your title. They may become your greatest cheerleaders. But you may want to prepare yourself, and appreciate that some friends can only see you for who you are on their terms, not yours.
So, what does this mean? Should you keep who you are a secret?
The proclamation, I am a writer, can give you wings, validation, and the attitude shift to take you from amateur to professional. It can take you from wishing you might be published to knowing you will be. It can sit your butt in the chair and do the work. As writer, you create the characters, construct the journey, build new worlds.
And isn’t that what the job is all about?
Raised by Nancy Drew and Jane Marple, Alice Munro Short Story Award winner and Maggie Finalist Sherry Isaac’s novels and short stories weave the common thread of everyday life, love and forgiveness into tales that transcend all things, including the grave. Find Sherry on the web, follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook and read her blog posts at Romance & Beyond.
Thanks Sherry! I feel so....VALIDATED...What do you guys think? Do you ever introduce yourself as a writer? or an artist? or a musician? And is it a comfortable fit?