Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
I’m often preoccupied by the difference, not so much grammatically – I get that – rather which form I’ve a real claim to.
I definitely write. But I’ve never felt that was enough to be able to say, without feeling fraudulent, I am a writer. I cringe slightly even at saying I don’t feel I’ve the right to the noun as if by quibbling the right, I’m just trying to get you to say it instead.
You certainly can’t be a writer if you don’t write. But then everyone who blogs about what they had for dinner is a writer. Anyone who puts a pen to paper is a writer. How lovely and inclusive. How, therefore, meaningless.
Today I had a milestone that for a few hours or maybe longer is allowing me some bashful, feet shuffling, eyes lowered to the floor admission of the noun.
Search for my name on Amazon and it appears next to the title of an actual, published by a publishing house title in my name alone. When I first found out, I was following any sentence like that with multiple emissions of vulgar punctuation but I’m over my ! frenzy now.
It’s *only* a Graded Reader (The Tomorrow Mirror,
Pearson Longman) but it is an original work of fiction and although it might read very the-cat-sat-on-the-mat as it’s aimed at Beginner level students, it’s mine. And you can buy it for actual money from Feb 21. It has an ISBN. It will pay Royalties. I had an advance for it.
At least for today, I get to call myself a writer.
Other milestones have come and gone and definitely did not count. Getting my name in print in Time Out, nah. Getting paid to write, meh. Getting an agent, nope. And I suspect the glister of this is going to wear off and I’ll go back to referring to myself as someone who writes stuff. I have a horrible feeling being a writer for me is going to depend on being recognised as such by someone who doesn’t know me. The day someone says ‘Nicola Prentis? Aren’t you that writer?’
If that ever happens, I’ll probably write it on my blog. After all, you’re never going to get anywhere near the title without writing about stuff.