I’m someone who’s always been shy about showing anyone my writing. The internet was a godsend for me, because somehow though I know the people I exchange email with and interact with on Live Journal and message boards, Twitter and Facebook are real they’re also unreal too. I don’t have to talk to them face to face about my writing. (Okay, I’ll concede that I have direct evidence of certain people I talk to on Facebook being real – them being family members – but the rest are in a different category.)
It comes from shyness and some self doubt I suppose. I spent many years not writing, because what’s the point in writing if nobody will ever read it and nobody would, because I wouldn’t dare show them. Then along came the Internet and I figured it was worth a try posting stories, since if people laughed them to scorn I could just vanish again.
Nobody did, and I wrote fanfic and then original fic for a few years. Was I a writer then? I wasn’t being paid for it, but if payment makes it official then Van Gogh wasn’t a painter. Was I a writer when I was only thinking of it as a hobby? Did I become one when I decided to at least start working towards producing something for publication?
Eventually I decided I felt ready to go for it and submit something to people who were not only really real, but who might pay me money! Well the lovely people at Loose Id did indeed accept my story. So that made me officially a writer, right? Well, no. I kept waiting for someone to tell me it was all a mistake and they weren’t going to publish my book after all. I thought that pretty much until the release date.
Now the book is out there. People have bought it. People have read it and given ratings on Goodreads. I have a review and hope to see more. I have had a royalty statement. The tax office knows I’m a writer!
You know, as I come to the end of the first month as someone with a published book, I think I can concede that yes, I am officially a writer now.
Becoming a “full time writer”? That’s a whole other kettle of swimming things.