"Everybody is a writer" she said, "What with blogs, and anybody able to submit to on-line newspapers and magazines. What do you really do?"
My face fell, I literally saw red. "Freelance writing, copy-editing and some proofreading." I respond. "Aha, yeah so much better. You wouldn't believe how many grammatical errors I find reading on-line." I nod, smile and excuse myself.
Really?! Really?! Everybody is a writer? I've been writing since I learned to write; I wrote my first poem when I was nine years old.
Even when I was pursuing other interests, I always returned to writing. Writing for me is cathartic, invigorating and fun. It's also something I have to do. Everyday feels a little better when I write. Creative, fiction, non-fiction, narratives....all have a place in my heart. I feel most myself when I'm writing, and for someone who's probably never written a poem in her life to belittle that...it left a bad taste in my mouth and a dagger in my heart.
Everybody writes, but everybody is not a writer. True writers, are word smiths, artists.
I remember a conversation I had with an older gentleman several years ago (over a decade). He'd just read one of my poems, at the time I wasn't pursuing publication, he inquired about my career goals and why I hadn't chosen to write for a living. He informed me that 'artists choose to be artists, they can become accountants, nurses, teachers... but to be an artist is a choice, not a career path but a destination in and of itself. '
Writing is not necessarily going to make me rich and famous, however it will and does make me happy.