A couple of my blogging friends have been discussing the topic of blogging vs. writing, or blogging AS writing, or blogging instead of writing, etc.--and they've raised some interesting questions. BooMama asks
...is blogging, for you, a means to an end? Is it a way to get exposure as a "for real" writer and ultimately get published? Can you be a "for real" writer if blogging is all that you do? In other words: is blogging in and of itself enough for you? Would you be disappointed if, say, three or four years down the road, your blog is functioning just as it is right now?
Heather at One Woman's World is investigating a theory that
...almost every blogger out there has a book in the works. By “in the works” I mean anything from a wild, momentary idea, to “the book’s in final editing.”
No, I do not consider myself a writer. I'm more of a "putter-together of words". Perhaps I'm hung up on the notion that Real Writers actually receive--gasp!--money for their work. I don't, I never have, and I don't seriously expect that I ever will. (Though I did write for my college newspaper and receive $10 for each article I wrote. I thought that was huge. What can I say, I was in college...ten dollars buys a lot of Taco Bell).
Yet I carry with me the words of my most-loved English teacher in high school. I adored her. My senior year, when she returned a paper I had written, she had scrawled the words on the back: Shannon, you will be a writer. My feet didn't touch the ground for a week. I was convinced, at that stage of my life, I would leave Small Town America behind forever, pack up for NYC, have a charming little apartment, work for the New York Times and [insert swelling of violins here] CHANGE THE WORLD. (I believe marrying John F. Kennedy, Jr. figured into that little fantasy as well). The world was my blank slate, and I just knew I would fill it up with words. The kind of words you get paid for.
But here I sit, in my mid-thirties--my computer keyboard half-buried under the latest PTA project and the Great American Novel buried in the deepest recesses of my brain, under next week's grocery list and questions for the pediatrician. And you know what? I'm perfectly happy with that. My 19-year-old self would have been mortified to know that my future writing would consist almost entirely of stories about mini-vans and stomach viruses and poop. And that I wouldn't receive a dime for it. Yet, to answer BooMama's question, it IS enough for me. I guess there really is something to the advice of Epictetus, the Greek philosopher: "If you wish to be a writer, write."
Why, thank you, I believe I will...