Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Writer For the First Time

Identity is a big thing, and it turns out that leaving all of your friends to go to a new school is an excellent way of realising that your identity needs to be a little more established than "in the same class as..." or "friends with..."

The one constant in my life since secondary school started - and we're talking almost eleven years ago, here - has been writing. You would think, then, that I considered myself a writer from an early age. Nope.

It wasn't even when I finished my first book. I was just a guy who wrote a book. I was calling myself an "aspiring author", whatever the heck that's actually supposed to mean. Aspiring, from Google's definition, means "directing one's hopes or ambitions towards becoming a specified type of person." Wikipedia defines author as follows:

An author is broadly defined as "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work and can also be described as a writer.

There's nothing specific about being an author, except that an author writes something. It took a while, but eventually, I did something that would change the way I looked at myself: I dropped the phrase "aspiring author", and called myself a writer.

Why? It's simple: I felt like an author only wrote novels, and I felt like it was about time I stopped dreaming of doing that. I decided that I would actually just write the books I wanted to, and to write the stories and poems that I felt I was doing quite a poor job at.

It was only a few years ago that my Twitter bio reflected this unspoken change in me. A friend of mine encouraged any writers she knew to stop it with the whole "aspiring author" business, and I found things so much easier after that. I set up my own writer website, and I made the decision to start publishing my books.

I went eight years or more dreaming. Since then, I've been living that dream. It's not glamorous, but it's what I wanted as a kid. I was a writer for the first time in my life, in no uncertain terms.

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