A debate on Facebook that expanded to Twitter gave me pause, and I started to wonder about this (somewhat loaded) question.
I have loved writing since I was young. I can remember writing my first short story while at my parents’ beach house in Ocean City, Maryland, and being so proud of myself. It was then that I knew that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
Always journaling, taking creative writing classes, trying my hand at short stories, novels with no endings, and poetry…my childhood and teen years are a wealth of writing ventures and experiences.
But when it came time for college, I pushed writing away. Whether it was the fear of criticism, the concern over how practical a degree in English would be, or the looming “real world,” I’m not sure. But the truth was, I forgot about writing for a time.
I re-discovered my love of the written word after I had the girls and we moved overseas. I found myself doing web writing, which filled a void in my life that I almost hadn’t known existed. What started as a way to earn extra money, a hobby, quickly became a bit of an obsession.
I started writing about writing on Internet forums, which is how I heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I thought it sounded like a good idea, but didn’t have any ideas for a novel. Plus, it had been years since I’d written fiction. A decade, even.
A visit and conversation with my mom and an evening run was all it took, though, for me to get the idea for Scattered. It was all I could do to keep my ideas inside until the month of November began, and when it did…I poured the novel out onto paper without even thinking.
Then I discovered blogging. Once that was added into the mix…well…let’s just say that I was writing almost constantly.
I love to write. I write because I have something to say. I write because I’m inspired…trust me, when I’m writing something uninspiring, it’s like pulling teeth to get it done.
I wonder…am I less of a writer than someone who’s degree is in journalism or English? I don’t think so. I’m not defined by my training, but by my writing.
And I write.