When I was in 4th grade, I took a science test, and of course I got an A. Probably even a 100%. I was one of those annoying kids for whom school was completely effortless. As I got out of my seat to brag a bit, my teacher said something I’ve never forgotten. She said, “I hate those kids who say, ‘I got an A and didn’t even study.’ I’d rather hear from the kid who studied for hours and got a B, because they’re the ones who worked for it. They’re the ones who tried.”
I don’t know if her tirade was directed at me or not, but I slunk back to my seat. I don’t know if the revelation came that day or some other, but that’s when I realized that being smart wasn’t something to brag about. I didn’t do anything to earn it, and I wasn’t using it for any particular positive purpose.
Sometimes I hesitate to call myself a writer. I’ve had a few things published, but not that many. I’ve been paid for my work, but it’s just pin money… I’m not making a living or anything.
When Thomas Edison invented the 99 (or 999, depending on the source) light bulbs that didn’t work, did that mean he wasn’t an inventor until he made the one that did? What defines us… Our accomplishments or our efforts?
That’s an answer that has to be answered by each individual. I know that I’m constantly editing old stuff, writing new stuff, reading the great, the mediocre, and the bad stuff others write. I watch people and listen to the not only what others say, but how they say it. I love to write and to talk about writing. For me, writing is part of who I am, not what I do. I couldn’t stop if I tried.
So yeah, I’m a writer.