cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

am i a literary mama ? . april 19 . 2006

Someone asked me tonight, so, are you a writer? and I realized that, much though I connect with the title "blogger," I always hesitate before I answer. I always answer "yes," but it's not an automatic. From where does that hesitation come?

I've always been a writer. When I was six years old, my next-door-neighbor (and still dear friend), Dawn, and I would write and illustrate stories and try to sell them to people door-to-door. (I suppose I was also always a marketer - although I wasn't a very good salesgirl. We never made more than a quarter or two from our efforts.) When I was in high school, I was immersed in writing, winning national awards and much attention from my literature teachers.

But my style of writing is very different from your traditional "writer" writing. I draft and outline in my head. When I write, it is a burst of crafting and editing and it doesn't take long. A very involved piece might have me focused at the computer for an hour, 90 minutes at the absolute limit. Even my huge projects are approached in this way. I wrote a 70-some-page honors thesis for my English literature major in college - it counted for a full years' worth of coursework. I wrote it all and did the majority of the research in two weeks' time (and received an "A").

In short, I'm the perfect blogger. But something about the informality of my process gives me pause when someone asks, "are you a writer"? I am a writer. I love to write. Writing is always in the background even when I'm not at the computer. But I feel inauthentic. Too casual. Not formulaic enough to be a Writer.

"Yes, I'm a writer," I answered. "I'm a professional blogger." And that felt truly authentic.