I am a writer. This probably comes as no surprise since I write a blog, but I consider it to be one of the core elements of my being. I must write at least two or three thousand words every day, be it on this blog, fiction, diaries or textual communication. This is something I take for granted, but every now and then I remember that people actually exist who don’t like writing and try to avoid it. I can’t imagine how empty a life that would be, but each to their own I suppose.
Thing is, I like to call myself a writer but does simply writing a set number of words actually make someone a writer? I seem to have a hierarchy when it comes to the importance of the words I write:
- Textual communication
Interestingly, the number of words I typically write for each category becomes fewer as you advance up the hierarchy. There’s a similar pattern to the amount of effort I put in. But surely, if I value the fiction I write more than blogs then I ought to prioritise that? Yet I clearly don’t, considering blog posts regularly amount to over 500 words whereas the most fiction I’ve ever managed to write in one day, in the last few months, is 429 words (yes, I do keep count…). This has sparked a bit of an internal crisis within me: How can I be a writer if I don’t write what I claim to be worth writing? Do I like the idea of being a writer more than actually writing? Am I a fraud?*
The natural result of this crisis is to focus more energy into my fiction, which is largely my current strategy. That’s one reason why I’ve reduced the number of blogs I expect myself to produce each week, and it’s kind of working. There’s been a gradual improvement to my progress in fiction, with my current project soon to reach 4,000 words. I’m a writer once more! But I shan’t neglect this blog either; it’s all about striking the right balance.
Arguably, there’s nothing more significant in the labeling of someone as a writer than getting work published. Which brings me to the most exciting announcement of this post: I’m now a published author! Well. Sort of. I’ve had a short story published in a local anthology, Wirds fae da Wastside. I haven’t yet held in my hands a finalised copy but it will be pleasantly strange to see my name in print once I get that opportunity. It all starts here!
*Intense self-doubt is another symptom of being a writer, so I hear, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry too much.