Saturday, May 01, 2010


For the past few years, I’ve been telling myself that “when I grow up” I want to be a writer. It wasn’t until recently it dawned on me that I already am and have been for quite some time. It all started, for me, when I was in elementary school and my great-granny gave me a Virginia Slim’s calendar (hey, smoking was cool in the 80’s). The pages were peppered with notes of what happened to me that day (I actually still have it) .

As I grew older, I tried writing poetry. I even wrote, albeit not very well, a novella while in high school. But, I didn’t understand or appreciate my fascination with reading and the use of words. I certainly didn’t realize my compulsion to do just what I’m doing now – writing.

In fact, when college came, I ignored it. Writing wasn’t a real career. As anyone that writes knows, being published and making an independent living off of your work is not automatic or guaranteed. So, I didn’t consider it a real choice. Rather, I’ve been “on the fence” about writing professionally for the past ten years. Dabbling, but not really committing to my passion to create.

Though I’m still in the early stages of writing a book, I’ve finally recognized that I am already a writer. Just because I’m not making an income or established as a known author doesn’t make this any less of a truth.

So, when did you realize you were a “real” writer?


Piedmont Writer said...

When I finished my first book. It was horrible, and needed tons of revisions, but it had the official stamp of 'The End'. That's when I knew I was a real writer.

Callie James said...

I've been writing and submitting for twenty years, but honestly, I think I've only considered myself a real writer in the last three years. I don't struggle with writing as much as I used to. The ideas seem come without effort, and I know the storyline will always falls into place. It feels more like a business, like a job that I happen to enjoy.

Jeanie said...

For me, it has been a gradual thing. I wrote poetry when I was younger. About 15 years ago, I sat down to write a book with no clue how to do it. It's been a learning process. I've always loved to write, but I think I began to see myself as a real 'writer' about 5 years ago, when I finished my first book and joined a writer's group.

Christine said...

I started writing as a youth as well. But writing and completing a book happened 5 years ago. Now I'm wrestling with my fourth MS, submitting to editors and agents, juggling the business side of writing with my desire to create and write my stories. I'm not published, but I consider myself a full time writer who is seriously pursuing her craft and her business.

Good luck with the writing Kat!

M.V.Freeman said...

I think the realization hit me three to four years ago.

Now, I just have to convince my family that I am a writing.

Carla Swafford said...

I became a real writer when I finally admitted it my family and friends. I had written for years afraid everyone would make fun of me.

Of course, now that I've told everyone, they keep asking me, "When are you going to get published?"

I keep saying, "I hope any day now."

Jeanie said...

You'll get there, Carla. Never fear! Just keep sending those positive thoughts into the universe.

Jeanie said...

Oh, and congratulations on your very first blog, Kat! Great post and we're so glad you're here.

Kat Jones said...

Thanks Jeanie! I'm excited about joining you gals! As for family & friends, I admit many of mine don't know or, if they do, they blow it off. I think, in part, that's why it's taken me so long. Joining a writer's group and interacting with people who love it as much as I do helped - a lot!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hi Kat! Great blog! And an interesting question. It sounds as if many of us have only recently "Come out of the closet." when it comes to our writing. I think it is especially difficult for those of us who write romance to admit it to the world, especially to our families.

I have been fortunate in many ways because my family has always known about my writing. I finished my first book at age nine. I was always the kid up in my room with a pen and paper scribbling away and my family never thought it unusual at all.

My first career was that of opera singer. A musician? Come on nobody makes a living at that, especially as an opera singer. But I did it for a number of years and my family was always supportive.

In spite of all of that I never really thought about making a living at writing until about four years ago. After the Avon FanLit event I suddenly realized that people outside of my family and friends might want to read my stories. Whodathunkit?

So, here I am polishing manuscript number three and starting manuscript number four and pursuing that old childhood dream from over 40 years ago. I figure I'll give it another 20 years or so and see what happens!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Kat, I went through a very similar process as you. I wrote a "book" in junior high, and wrote a lot of sappy poetry in HS and college, but never considered a career in writing, even though I always wanted to write a book.

I decided to try it seriously in Jan 09 and have been happy about the decision ever since. The only thing that could make me happier would be earning a paycheck from it! ;-) Good luck with your writing. I think it's awesome that you still have that calendar.