I am a writer.
Generally, those are not easy words for a writer to say (or to write).
For a long time, I used to say I wanted to be a writer. I thought a writer had to be someone who was published. Then after I was published, I thought a writer was someone who had to be published on a regular basis. I can now say I am published on a regular basis. (Feel free to check out my Published Work link).
But really, as one of my favorite instructors at the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program says — a writer is someone who writes. That’s it. It’s that simple. And I write.
I’ve been re-reading some books from my bookshelf; books that I haven’t read in years, books that I re-read to determine if I wish to still keep them or if they should be donated to our public library.
I recently finished Roberta Jean Bryant’s Anybody Can Write. I bought this book before I started teaching (which was in 2001). So it’s been on my shelf a long time. I’ve read it more than once. I’ve highlighted passages, folded down the corners of pages, tagged other pages with Post-its. During my other reads, I always felt so encouraged by Ms. Bryant’s words. As if she had written this book for me, to get me writing. But this time around, I realized that I was reading this book differently. I wasn’t reading in hopes of becoming a writer. I was reading as a writer.
I don’t say this to brag in any way. It’s just interesting to take note of the way my life has changed. For twelve years, I told people I was a teacher. For the years before that, I was a student. Now when asked, I say I’m a writer.