There is a lot of scorn around at the moment about people who say they are a writer, particularly on their bios on Twitter. I am one such person, even though i am very rarely paid to write and am, ostensibly, merely a blogger.
I say I’m a writer, though, because I feel it in myself, more than I feel many other things.
In Spanish, there are two forms of “I am,” one meaning “I am (at the moment),” for example, I am hungry, and one meaning “I am (always),” for example, “I am Billygean.” And I feel I am (always) a writer. I always have been. I always will be. Not because it’s what I do, but because it’s who I am.
There is so much more to being a writer than whether you write blogs or books or articles or copy or press releases. For me, I am a writer because I write every day. Even when I try not to write, I always do. I stopped writing fiction at University and filled four volumes of journals and started a blog before I even realised I was re-textualising my life again. I may miss a week’s blogging, but I write in a journal, a worry diary (which is hilarious reading), fiction, lists of ideas and plots, and lists of my every day highlights and lowlights, usually made late at night (and usually involving baths and being cold respectively). I never miss a day’s tweeting. I always say something to the world, and who says microblogging is any less writing?
I am a writer because I wrote my first book when I was 12 (“Where Magic Is Possible”), my second when I was 18 (“Three By The Sea”), and my third when I was 23 (“How Do Geese Know When To Fly To The Sun?”). I am a writer because I cannot resist a personal memoir about how an author writes.
I am a writer because I cannot observe a scene without seeing it in text: how I’ll compare those autumn-red leaves to flags against the blue sky, how I’ll say that lit-up fountain’s water looks like flowing lava.
I am a writer because I listen to what people say, think of their dialogue patterns, how some people informally miss off their “its” and “theres,” and others pronounce every “t” perfectly. I am a writer because I think constantly of people’s story arcs, of the intentions behind their actions and of their end goals.
I am a writer because I spend all day fiddling with language. I am a writer because every tweet, every facebook update, is (hopefully) succinct and meticulously proofread.
I am a writer because I find poetry in stopped clocks, in calls “just to chat,” in a seemingly random bunch of flowers. In my colleague suddenly wearing different jewellery, in a closed door and a girl hunched over a coffee cup and the thrum emanating from a teenager’s headphones on the train.
I am a writer because when I experience pain and suffering, I think, this is not as bad for me as it is for other people, because I am going to write about it.
That is why my Twitter bio tells the world I am a writer.