(just a word of explanation...)
What makes a person a writer…? Well, to give the short answer, they write. Everyone fits into that category each time they put pen to paper to make out a grocery list. However, in a deeper sense, a writer is a person who lives and breathes words. Must you be published to be a “writer?” No. My father—one of the wittiest writers I know—shares his insights only with a select group of e-friends—but is he a writer? Oh, yes. Because he manipulates words with the ease of a circus juggler, and creates pithy vignettes that will make you think twice about life. He is only now beginning to expand the readership for the wonderful life-slices he serves up. Although he has always written them, they were personal speculations—private musings. That doesn’t make him any less a writer.
I first realized that I was a writer—or wanted to be—as soon as I began to read what other people had written. As I was growing up, when asked the inevitable, “what do you want to be…?” question, my answer was always whatever the flavor of the month happened to be—detective, scientist, teacher—“and a writer.” I started my first novel when I was nine.
I’ve been published in many non-paid venues. However, I must admit—the $5.00 check from my first professional sale is still uncashed because it is so awesome to show it to my friends and say, “Look! I sold something.”
To sum it all up—a person who writes because they have no choice…because the words pour from their fingertips into their pen, or into the keys of their computer, that is a writer. Does this person have to be paid? No. Does it help? There ain’t nothing like it!