How did I know I was a writer?
That’s an interesting question, and one I thought I would never be answering on a blog.
I have never (until recently) thought of myself as a writer, even though I have written for most of my life. I have kept a diary every year since I was eleven, and written poetry since I was seventeen. None of which I shared, none of which I put forward for publishing - so I didn't think I was a writer. But then, a few years ago, I was asking myself what I really love doing, and the one thing I kept coming back to was 'writing'. As I said: I have always written. So, that must make me a writer, yes?
In 2006, I wrote 90,000 words in 30 days as part of Nanowrimo, and there I had my first draft of Spaghetti Head. It was at that moment I realised there was a huge leap I needed to take - from writer to author. I can be a writer and nobody will ever read it. If I'm an author, the whole point is for someone else to read it. To me, that was a very scary prospect. But the story needed to be written.
Am I a good writer, or a bad writer? I'm just a writer - it's what I love to do. Good or bad. Being an author is a totally different thing - that takes hour and hours, years even, of re-writing, editing, formatting, perfecting the same piece of writing.
I do not judge myself as a writer, as I do as an author. I am a writer when I am scribbling how I feel about something in my diary. I am a writer when something inspires me to make up a poem. Freeing my emotions through my pen is always what has kept me sane, so I will always be a writer.