This month of November has been a big month for novelists. It’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). And handful of bloggers that I follow are also either published authors, or hope to become published, having written a book or two. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to commit to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. Essentially to write a novel, or most of one, in a month of intensely motivated writing. One of the ways to get in such a commitment is to blog every day for the month of November.
It’s fun to read so much great writing, and to cheer people on when the well of creativity wanes. I, however, am not a novelist, nor do I participate in NaNoWriMo. And at times, I even hesitate to label myself as a “writer.” I especially hesitate, because I have a cousin who is a writer, who is paid for his writing prowess, and whose talent often leaves me speechless.
That said, I suppose how I define being a writer, makes all the difference. I grew up thinking of a writer as someone who derives an income from writing. Or someone who is pursuing writing as a craft that they hone, with an end product in mind to eventually be sold.
But what do you call a person who has to write because it calls to them from deep inside? What do you call a person for whom the process of writing connects them to a different dimension, creating connections and epiphanies on an otherworldly level? And is the primary way they process their “stuff”? What do you call a person who is driven to share creatively, through the written word? And whether that person’s writing is ever compiled into a book, or ever earns them a penny is of no consequence?
I’d call that person a writer. I write. Therefore I am… a writer.