Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Unpublished Writer

When you tell people you're a writer, they tend to assume that you've been published. I never introduce myself as a writer, but in my head I am. And I often start sentences with phrases like "as a writer, I think..." (I'm actually not as pretentious as I'm probably coming across). And I kind of feel like a fraud.

I've been able to feed myself for years, but I wouldn't call myself a cook. Just because I can string a sentence together, doesn't make me a writer. I very rarely even write with a pen.

A few years ago, my friend Ashleigh introduced me as The Writer to his friends, which was so sweet and I thought it was great. I had an identity. I was The Writer.

But somewhere in the back of my mind I feel like I can't be a writer until I have something published, and I don't think self-publishing would be enough. I've written seventeen novels, but part of me know that they don't count until you can buy a book with my name on it.

Also, I finally caved and joined Twitter. My username (correct terminology?) is @leglet.

1 comment:

  1. You are The Writer. The thing that makes you what you are is self-reflexive. It's all about identity - I've been to Ireland a handful of times. I have Irish relatives, and I can do the accent. Officially, I'm English, pure and simple, but I identify myself as a 50/50 split: I'm an English-Irish crossbreed. I think pride has a lot to do with identity. Look at gender-confusion. People with the 'wrong' organs identify themselves as the other sex - even though, strictly speaking, they're the sex they've been born as. It also has a lot to do with choice, you choose to cook - but you're not a cook. You choose to write, and you ARE a writer. I always ask people in-session, when I'm psyching, "It's Sunday afternoon - you're not hungry, you're not tired, you're clean, there's no-one around, you have all the resources you would normally have in your life, what would you choose to do?" If your answer is 'play a video game', you probably identify yourself as a 'gamer'. If you say 'cook meals for the week' you might class yourself as a cook. If you say 'catch up on TV' you might identify yourself as having a particular interest in TV... I can't think of a THING associated with TV-watching, frankly, I hate myself when I turn couch-potato, watching an episode of Big Bang, M*A*S*H, Frasier, Two and a Half Men, Eastenders, How I Met Your Mother, or other such things... But if you say, 'catch up with work stuff' - you're probably a work-a-holic, if you say 'paint' you probably identify yourself as a painter. You say write - then to me, you're a writer.