I found a book while I was home over the holidays that was called “All about me”. It’s basically this horrible culmination of things about yourself, but written for kids, and filled in by kids. I must have filled it in my entire childhood. When I flipped to the page that says… “When I grow up I want to be ______” and had to fill in the blank. I filled an entire page with things I wanted to be: Horse back riding trainer, actress, astronaut, veterinarian, nurse, teacher, actress, horse back rider, veterinarian, actress, writer, writer, writer, writer… You get the gist… basically the one that seemed to be the most was “writer”.
Well younger self. Guess what. I may not yet be a truly published writer, but I am in fact a writer.
“You’re not a real writer,” one of my friends told me once. To which I simply arched my eyebrow, cocked my head, and asked questioningly… “Why not?”
“Because you haven’t written a book,” she replied.
“But I get paid to write,” I responded.
“Yeah, but that stuff doesn’t count.”
“Well, screenwriters don’t have a book, and you’d consider them a writer, right?”
“Yeah, but that’s different…”
I didn’t like that conversation… but it made me think. What makes someone a writer? Every morning, I wake up, I come to work, and I write… I write about drugs, sure, but I write. I write journal ads, shelf-talkers, visual aids, commercials, scripts, implementation guides, and ten million other things that if I wrote here, maybe 10% of you reading this would actually understand. Basically, I write a lot. Sure, some of it is copying and pasting, but a lot of it is new information that has to be written in a way that would entice someone. That’s exactly what authors and screenwriters do. Sure, the things I write about only interest a small fraction of the world’s population (healthcare) but so do many authors and screenwriters… there are only a few of them that cater to broader audiences. But if you want to be a really good author, you’ll find a niche that nobody else has yet, and you’ll make it your own…
So, again, I ask the question… what makes someone a writer?
I’m not sure I”ll ever know the answer to that question, but I will say this. I am a writer.
And one day I will also be an author.