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A Real Writer

I had an awesome idea for a post. Until I forgot what it was. So forget that and let's try something else in hopes that I'll remember what it was later.

The real writer. What makes a 'real' writer in your definition? Starting a novel? Finishing a novel? (Or for the sake of argument, a short story or newspaper column, a blog even. Those folks are writing, after all). Editing a novel? Winning an award? Getting published? describes a writer as someone who writes, especially as an occupation. Another definition says it's someone who writes well. That sounds a bit stuck up to me. Of course, our goal is to learn to write well so we can be published. Anything worth doing... blah, blah, blah.

When did I first consider myself a writer? What's with the hard questions, Larry King? I don't know. Maybe it was one of those predestined things. I guess I knew for sure I loved writing when I was in sixth grade.

This is so embarrassing, but when I was a kid, on my favorite TV station there was an afternoon program called FOX Kids. They would pick a kid once a week and tell something amazing about this kid. At the time, my best friend and I wanted to be authors. I wrote this book--the English language doesn't have words to describe how awful this book was--and my best friend submitted my name to the FOX Kids Club and I did the same for her. No fooling, they picked my name out of who knows how many other kids and they came to interview me. With a TV camera and everything. I was on TV talking about my writing and my other obsession, dinosaurs. Yes, a twelve-year-old girl who loved dinosaurs. I told you it was embarrassing. I hate that people I went to school with still remember that. And here I've announced it to the world wide web. C'est la vie.

Was that the first step? Maybe. We still have that video somewhere; I cringe at the idea of anyone seeing it. Even my husband hasn't seen it. Please, God, let it stay hidden from the world because talking about it is bad enough.

I kept writing, even though my best friend moved on to different things. I won awards in high school. I majored in print journalism. And I've placed in two national contests in the last two years. But I'm not published. So where do I fall on the spectrum? I'm a writer. I know I am. Even at my lowest heel-dragging, can't get around this scene, hate the characters and/or the plot, I'm still forging ahead.

I sort of feel like the transition between writer and author happens at publication. Like levels on an elevator or something. Ground floor: writer, top floor: author. I dunno. Thoughts?