Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still in the Closet?

I am a writer, because to me the pen is therapeutic, it is expressive, and it is powerful. I hope both of my children are writers. I relate to other writers, and I feel happy just being a part of the writing community. Yes, I am a writer.

I've been known to quickly jot an idea down on a paper towel using my kid's crayon. I have played hooky from work to sit crammed in my small car with my netbook on my lap, happily writing. When I'm not actively writing, I sometimes mentally plot or edit my work in progress.
I do these things, because I am a writer.

Funny thing, though, is that very, very few people know that I am a writer. In fact, I could count on one hand the number of my friends who know I write. So okay, I'm a closeted writer.
This week, I "came out" as a writer to a friend I've known for nearly ten years. When I did, the most amazing thing happened. She came out too! She's not only been writing for a major publication for some time now, she's a member of the freakin' Associated Press!

We both had the same question for one another: Why didn't you tell me?

And we both had the same answer: I don't tell people, because I don't feel like a real writer yet. That struck me as odd. Her byline is seen globally. Yet, just like little ol' unpublished me, she too is hiding away, writing in the closet, not ready to tell anyone of her passion.

Waiting for someone else to deem us worthy of the title of real writer? It definitely gives me something to think about.

On another note, I have good news. I placed 6th in the 79th Annual Writer's Digest Contest in the Mainstream/Literary category for my short story "Deathbed Confessions." All the top 10 winners are printed in the November/December issue of Writer's Digest, available on newsstands now. You can also check out their website for more info on contests. Okay, so I'm still not published. But to have placed out of over 12,000 entries made me feel proud. And hey, now that I've been paid for my work, I guess you could say that makes me a real writer now, huh?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Validation is good for the soul

Isn't if funny how a bit of validation can not only reinforce your belief in your talent, but also give a much-needed boost to bang out more chapters in one day than you have in months?

That's what I got this week, and the feeling is indescribable. The feeling that says "I AM a real writer. I can do this."

That's all for now. I've got a neglected WIP waiting for me.