Tonight, an author friend posed this question in a discussion group: Is being a writer just a pipe dream?
She asked this in response to a controversial tweet by Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, last week:
‘English Major = Want Fries With That? Pick something that will give you enough money to write what you want.’ (Follow the link to the full article.)
It’s a thought-provoking question. Can I legitimately call myself a writer or a poet if that’s not my main source of income? Without a doubt, yes!
Authors throughout history have held other jobs to survive while they pursued their writing. I’m just one in a very long list.
In this world, being “just” a writer is the domain of very few.
However, being a writer AND having another job doesn’t mean one is not a writer.
I don’t make enough out of writing to quit my job… far from it… but writing is both my passion and my therapy, so if I can cover my expenses… in my mind, that’s a good outcome.
If my writing helps someone feel that they’re less alone, or less weird, or can better understand someone else’s situation… that’s far more like what I want to achieve, particularly with my poetry.
I’d like to sell more books, sure. But not doing so isn’t going to stop me writing. And it won’t make me any less a writer.
You just wait til I’m dead. (Hopefully not any time soon.)
My poetry will go off the charts then.
Maybe you should buy a signed copy from me while you can.