It's 5:00 AM and the sky is a dull cast iron gray. I'm sitting at my desk, a spiral notebook open to a blank page, my purple pen in hand. After entering today's date I rip into "Morning Pages," essentially three longhand pages of moaning and complaining about my life. My biggest complaint is not having time to write, even as I sit at my writing desk doing just that! The stillness around me is so conducive to mining that rich territory of the imagination that I feel I could fill this whole notebook in one sitting, but of course after my twenty minutes of kvetching is over it's time to go to work and my writing life is aborted like a failed space mission.
So my question for today is "When do I get to call myself a writer?" Do morning pages count? Does journaling count? Do free write exercises count? Do I have to be published to call myself a writer? Oh yeah, I am published, several times in fact, and still I don't feel like a writer. I think it's because I spend two hours a day commuting so I can spend another 8 1/2 hours each day being a school administrator. I don't feel like a writer because of all the unfinished work in my file cabinet and because I don't consistently submit my stories, poems or novels.
There's a disconnect here and I can't make the connections. I have two lives, one much bigger than the one I really want--the life of the writer. I'm writing a blog post, so maybe I can call myself a writer. Well at least I will for these few moments when the words fly across the screen and fill up space. Maybe what it takes to legitimately call yourself a writer is to actually have people reading what you wrote. So thank you readers for bringing me closer to my goals and dreams.