“Are you a real writer?” One of my students asked me that this year.
“Sure, I am!” I proudly stated.
“Do you have a book?”
“No, not yet. Someday, maybe.”
I saw the rolling eyes. (Middle School!) I kept writing anyway. But I thought about this conversation, and I found myself asking the same question. Am I a writer?
Well, I’m a blogger. I have been for years now. I write “Slice of Life” stories with my friends at Two Writing Teachers (www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com). I write book reviews. I write posts for the Nerdy Book Club (www.nerdybookclub.com). Is a blogger a writer?
I’m a teacher, so I write lesson plans and curriculum notes. Does that count as writing? I spend most of my time on this, so I’d like to think so. But no one ever reads that kind of writing, except maybe a principal or a substitute teacher every once in a while. If no one reads your work, are you a writer?
I write reflections about my reading. One of my favorite professional books from this last year is Writers are Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction Into Writing Opportunities by Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth. I read all the time. I’m a better reader than a writer, but I do write about my reading. I have flipped my classroom and my students are readers AND writers. Does that make me a writer?
I’d like to think I’m a writer, but I don’t write every day. It’s a terrible problem! I make the common excuses: say I don’t have time, say something else takes priority, say I don’t have anything to write about. Maybe I’m not a writer. Hmm…
As I try to figure this out, I’ll keep writing. Maybe someday, I’ll be a writer.