It happened in the hot tub at the gym. After my class where our instructor tries to kill us, I usually go over to the hot tub as my reward for still being alive. When I got there on this particular Thursday, a woman was in the hot tub reading “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” by Stieg Larsson. I shouldn’t have bothered her, but I asked how she liked the book and we got to talking. We went through the plot, the difficulties, the translation issues, the pros and cons of the movie versions, even the legal case involving his family and life companion. Then she asked, “Do you think he based the Blomkvist character on himself.” And I answered, “We all seem to write ourselves into our stories.” I said “we.” I didn’t think about it. I just said it.
That’s when I realized that I think of myself as a writer. I identify with writers. I consider myself included in the Venn diagram of writers – the big fat middle part with the work, the struggle, the joy, the frustration, the breakthroughs, when things go well, when they don’t, the blanks, the rushes, the hating of the book one day and loving it the next, the drafts, revising, the doubt, the hope. There is a connection that writers have, whether novice, published, bestselling author or other. When you sense that connection, you take it with you where you go; you don’t have to ask if you can or should consider yourself a writer – you know you are.
When did you realize you’re a writer?