I’ve been a good girl during my first semester at uni. I didn’t miss a single class and I handed all my assignments in on time. So I was wondering if there was any chance of getting my dream Christmas present this year.
On Christmas morning, I’d like to wake up without a hangover AND also the confidence to actually call myself a writer, out loud in public. I’ve accumulated a fair amount of titles in my adult years- student, teacher, wife (no1 and no2), mother, Training Officer and student again but I’ve yet to feel that I’ve earned the title ‘Writer’.
In the winter edition of the Society of Author’s journal, ‘The Author’, Robert Hull has written a great piece on ‘Am I an author?’ where he states that “somehow one can be a writer without publishing anything, the term paradoxically seems also to imply a route to authordom.” So, what’s my problem? That could be me he’s talking about, I write. So I am a writer. But I also paint watercolours and I don’t call myself an artist. I pull weeds in my garden but I don’t call myself a gardener. You get the idea. For me, the problem with choosing the title, ‘writer’ over any other title, is one of ego.
To be a writer, I think you need to have a big enough ego to put your work out there. You need to believe that people will be interested enough in what you write to want to invest the time (and possibly hard earned money) to want to read it. You need to believe that you’ve something really worthwhile to say in a world where there are already too many books and more creative writing graduates than you can shake a pen at. My ego was big enough to make me quit my job so that I could call myself a student, but not big enough to call myself a writer. Not yet. It’s my personal work in progress.
Oscar Wilde said, “I have nothing to declare except my genius.” Now that’s an ego! I’m not greedy. I don’t want an unhealthy supersized McEgo, just a regular ego with fries and a diet coke.
But don’t worry Santa, if asking for a bigger ego is too much, I totally understand that this is something I will probably have to find myself or search for it on eBay. If your elves can’t sort out a writer’s ego for me, then here are a couple of ideas for substitute gifts.
P.S. Another bottle of double strength ‘Patience-of-a-Saint’ tablets would also be very much appreciated for my long suffering hubby- he’ll need them for next semester!