This writing journey is interesting, enlightening and, at times, overwhelming. It is fraught with highs and lows. Some days what pours onto the page enlivens me, other days it frustrates the heck out of me. Querying, synopsis writing and sending my work out into the big ol' world is exciting and intimidating. The whole process is an emotional roller coaster.
I have no desire to stop the ride and get off. It is what I do. It's what I've been focussed on for eight years. Now that I can write full-time, it has become an even more powerful force in my life. Yet, I have always been hesitant to identify myself as a writer. As I debate the financial wisdom of attending the Surrey International Writers' Conference again, I am reminded of the euphoria I felt listening to Jack Fallis' keynote speech, the final speech of the conference. He had noticed that all tags had names along with the addition of agent, editor, publisher, volunteer and writer. But many just had the place the person came from. He told us to take off our tags and put writer beneath our names. Because that was what we were, published or not.
That's when my thinking shifted. I began to treat writing as my job. I now dedicate several hours every morning, seven days a week. Sometimes I write longer, but it is rare that I skip a day. I began to talk more openly with friends about my writing. I started to share snippets, something I was incredibly uncomfortable doing in years past.
The other day someone was here measuring our windows for shades and she asked what I do. I immediately said "I write." I actually said it aloud to a stranger! Now, perhaps it's because of the validation I am receiving from my queries. I have several full manuscript requests from agents based on the query letter and sample chapter(s). For my non-writer readers, that does not mean I am necessarily on the road to acquiring an agent but it does mean that my writing has something going on, enough to catch the attention of folks who know writing. And, I'll take that affirmation and save it for when I hit the lows of the journey.
But, I digress. Back to my easy response of "I write." She immediately asked what I'd written, and then wanted to know where she could buy my books. A year ago, I would have felt boxed in a corner, felt stupid for declaring myself a writer without having so much as an agent. But, not now. It was easy to answer. "Oh, I'm not published…not yet."