You can call yourself whatever you like but at the end of the day (sorry that was very corporate speak – apologies) it doesn’t matter what you call yourself but it does matter what you do.
I can tell you have that stunned mullet expression again so please let me explain. If you are a singer then you sing, if you are a saxophonist then you play the saxophone, if you are a runner then you run – I think you’ve got the hang of what I’m trying to say. So if you are an ink slinger or writer working under some other title then what you need to be doing is writing.
I own a Saxophone. It is a beautiful instrument and it lives in a lovely leather case in my loft. I bought it on a whim, as I had always wanted to play one. Little did I know how hard it was and therefore how much time and dedication would be required to achieve this. So I may own a saxophone, but I am most definitely not a saxophonist.
Someone once introduced himself as being a drummer. I was obviously impressed and immediately scrutinized their features for anything familiar, perhaps they had played with world famous artists, been on stage with great legends or even been part of a well known group. However, on further questioning it appeared that he had had a short stint in a local band three years before but was now working in an office, although he was still very ‘into’ music. I asked further if the band was still together and no it wasn’t. I asked if he still had the drums, which he did and if he played them to which his response was , ‘no, not really. I don’t have the time’. Which all begs the question as to whether or not he is a drummer – in mind he is not. I know that sounds harsh but think about it…
When you stop studying you are no longer a student, once you have the baby you are no longer pregnant, once you get divorced you are no longer a married person. Once you give up the wine you are no longer… actually let’s not go there!
He evidently was once a drummer and was very proud of that fact but it was obviously in the past. It was something he had once done but did not do now. It struck me that I meet lots of people who are writers but are struggling to find the time to write. I can sympathise with this as it’s a busy world we live in and we are all trying to balance many spinning plates. Some tell me about writing they started years ago and are still hoping to finish, when they have the time. However, I think to be able to say you are a writer then you need to be doing one fundamental thing and doing it right now – YOU NEED TO WRITE!
Otherwise you may find yourself in a similar place to ‘the drummer’ when you realise that it was actually quite a long time ago when you used to be a writer but you aren’t anymore. So you may own a pen or keyboard but if you don’t use it regularly then I’m afraid you are not a writer by any name.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Grab a pen (and a glass of wine if you like) and get writing NOW!