“So I’ve been reading your blog.”
Those words, spoken by a coworker, made my heart run cold. A few of the people I work with know that I’m writing a book, although none of them know the exact details of it. A few of those people know that I am blogging about the experience. And a few of those people have the address of this blog. When Annie said those words, I swallowed and tried to sound casual. In other words, I tried to not squeak when I spoke. “What did you think?”
Annie smiled. “I like it. You can tell that you’re being honest.” We chatted for several minutes before we returned to our different areas. After she walked away, I let out a deep sigh of relief. My first thought was that I was pleased at her reaction.
My second was that I felt like an enormous fake.
I’m trying to make the mental switch to think of myself as a writer. I still feel like a child playing pretend. Yes, I’m writing a book. Yes, I’ve shown professionals that book for feedback. Yes, I do plan to have it published. But there is still an insidious voice whispering in the back of my head that I’m not a real writer. After all, I don’t have anything published.
I counter that voice with something I was told. The act of writing is what makes you a writer. I’m repeating that to myself. I’m not published. I probably will not be for a while. But a published author isn’t the same thing as a writer.
I am writing. Therefore I am a writer. I will keep on being a writer. And I will keep repeating that to myself until I believe it.
Annie, I hope you enjoyed this post.