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Being a "real" writer.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Chekhov

It’s funny. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life writing for my supper. Yet it’s only now that the world (okay, 97 people on Facebook) knows I’ve penned a book that I suddenly feel as though I’m Writing.

Capital W writing.

Channeling Poe writing.

Brow-furrowing, teeth-gnashing, patched elbow blazer-wearing writing.

It’s as if all those words that came before didn’t count.

But the truth is, all the words I have birthed, whether for emotional videos or ads extolling the merits of advanced adhesives, were important. Not just because they helped me hone my craft, but because they voiced a part of who I am. Sure, things like adhesives are a smaller part of who I am, but still... A turn of a phrase. A verbal wink. They’re part of the nouns, verbs and, yes, dangling participles that make up my DNA.

I’ve always been inspired by those who paint the world with their words. The source of this inspiration is more than a deftness of language, the way, as Chekhov said, they showed the glint of light on glass. It’s their willingness to share themselves, their voice, with the world.

I’ve had friends approach me recently, telling me that they’re not “real” writers, but wish that they were. And to this I say, pshaw. Published or unpublished, paid or unpaid, public or private, you are a writer. Everything you write matters because it’s your words, your voice, your experience. Don’t sell yourself short or let other people define who and what you are.

So go forth and write. I’ll be doing the same, whether for a novel or a radio ad. I just might wear my patched-elbow blazer. (Probably because I haven’t done laundry.)

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