In my post yesterday about the evil invention known as the telephone, I was going to write a paragraph wondering whether using the telephone is a common anxiety for writers in general. I balked. Writing such a paragraph would imply that I consider myself a writer. That just seems…wrong.
But what does one have to do to consider oneself a writer? It seems like such an amorphously vague title. After all, everyone is capable of writing and many do. Everyone and their cat has a blog these days. Is blogging enough? Is keeping a diary enough? Is it amount of time spent? Is it number of words written? Is it if you’ve been published? Is it if you’ve been paid? Is it how many people have read your words?
All this thinking about what it means to be a writer got me wondering how much I have written. It turns out that today is a momentous day for my blog as far as pointless milestones are concerned. I have had the blog since Novermber 2012. Today, I have reached 5,000 page views and written just over 100,000 words. The former is fairly meaningless, but the latter is…wow! That’s a novel. Over 1,200 individuals have read my words. Someone from every state except Montana, North Dakota, and Kansas has read my words. Someone from 40 other countries has read my words. All of that sounds awfully writer-y. Yet, still I balk at the title.
Maybe, to be a writer, you have to write something that you consider useful. It doesn’t have to be shared, it doesn’t have to touch anyone except yourself. You put pen to paper or hands to keyboard and scribble or clickety-clack away and look over the final product and say “I made that!” with pride. Yeah, I’m definitely not a writer yet.