Thursday, January 20, 2011


In the course of any given month, I play several different roles. I've been pondering this quite a bit today, as I realized that various titles append to my electronic correspondence. Perhaps the most obvious is "Mommy to Calyssa", which, not coincidentally, is my Twitter ID. But there's also "the Encore accounts person", "the choir librarian", "the Bible study snack coordinator", "the Daisy Scouts registrar", even "the Westwood PFC Box Tops coordinator". Half a dozen 8- and 9-year old girls know me as their "AWANA leader". Earlier today I enthusiastically accepted another; the precise title is to be determined, but it's coming.

But, as I was carrying on a text conversation with a new-ish friend today, he referred to me as a writer. I don't feel comfortable calling myself a writer. I can use any of the above titles freely because I can prove their suitability. But since writing is as yet strictly an avocation, in the words of the Smiths, "you just haven't earned it yet, baby".

Not to minimize the others in any way, but the only one that really matters (okay, besides "Mommy", which I wear proudly), that goes soul-deep, is "writer". Why is it that I feel so unworthy of a title I covet as much as this one? Must I have demonstrable evidence that I am justified in calling myself a "writer", and, if so, what would qualify as that evidence? A rejection letter, or better yet, a sale? Holding the first copy of my (book, magazine, tract, fill-in-the-blank) in my hands? I don't have any answers, but I'm going to change my profile here, right this minute, so that "writer" appears first, and I guess we'll see if I'll survive or if something shall smite me in my sleep...