Friday, May 4, 2012

I am a novelist

Today I told someone 'I am a novelist.'

They were asking what I wanted to do (you know, in college, when I grow up, etc. etc.) And rather than say 'I want to be a novelist' I said 'I am a novelist.'

It felt a little strange to say. Usually I say 'I'm a writer.' But I've spent the last week working every moment I could on the first 55 pages of a novel for a deadline that has been weighing especially heavy on me. So when she asked, I didn't say 'writer'. I said 'novelist'.

I think I'll use that word more often. I'll still say 'writer' sometimes, but 'novelist' is more specific, y'know? 'Writer' can mean a lot of things. Poets are writers. Playwrights are writers. Journalists are writers. And though I have dabbled in poetry, plays, and journalistic style pieces, my heart and the bulk of my many hours writing has been in novels. 

So here's to specificity, and may I be forgiven for the many times I have said 'I don't know' or played the vague answer card when asked what I want to do, because I was afraid that people would think I was stupid for wanting that instead of wanting to be a CEO or a doctor or something. No more vagueness. Specificity and honesty. Let people think what they want.

6 comments:

  1. I love this! I'm so with you on this. Why is it so hard to admit, sometimes, that I'm a writer. Novelist or author is even more bold! I applaud you.

    We are writers, novelists, authors...even though we might not be published yet.

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    1. And that is the key - saying 'artist' doesn't mean 'person who has sold art' it means 'person who creates art'. Novelist doesn't mean 'person who has sold novels'. It means 'person who creates novels.'

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  2. I tend to usually say writer and I get the surprised reaction from people. Probably because I am younger than what most people picture authors to be. I think I will lean more toward saying novelist or author more often. I describes what I do way better.

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  3. Fist pump to that, brother. I think a lot of us have trouble just saying "I'm a writer" in the first place, let alone the specifics of our genre. Unless we're published or something. So it's awesome that you're so outspoken about it.

    I recently discovered a fellow who writes a lot of encouragement on the topic of saying what you are, and how that leads to doing it. goinswriter.com You may already know of him.

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    1. Wow... that is a GREAT site. Thank you!

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