Being a Writer

Anybody can write (photo by Wendy Kennar)

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.

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