I’m a Writer

“And what do you do?”
“I’m a writer.”
Silence. The slight frown. Then the question.
“What do you write?”
I hate this question.
I write words goddammit. And sometimes sentences!
“Oh, lately I’ve been writing fiction, a novel actually. Well, not a novel, a novella.” Squirm.
They look embarrassed for me and it sounds like their eyebrows say, “Oh, so not a real writer then.”
I worked at the university bookstore. In marketing. I planned sales on insignia sweatshirts and backpacks. Water bottles were hot sellers.
Another guy in the office handled writers. He perused the catalogues and sent off proposals to publishers for author events. He read the stack of books sent for pre-publication reading, review copies, there were towers of unread books on his desk.
And I’m a writer.
But you don’t actually write, that nasty voice in my head said. No, but I am. I mean, I used to. I’m different. I’m not just a worker at the bookstore.
The slim volumes of poetry, which slipped into our office unnoticed, mocked me. Like a group of girls I could never join they stood side by side on a shelf neat and unrumpled.
I’m a writer.
And then, one day, it happened. I began to write. At first it was songs, which were terrible and unsung. And then the poems began to burst forth. They pushed their way up between the forced rhymes and the mushy subject matters. The poems came darkly and magically. They appeared in my notebook and left me wondering, I wrote that?
Yes. I’m a writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *