(Please refer to the previous post to read the poem.)
First of all, I have changed my screen name. You may have noticed. I decided to use my first, rather than my middle name. It's going to stay that way, so don't be concerned that I'm flaking out :-)
"The real writer is one / who really writes." That's what Piercy's poem asserts. If this is true, then I am a real writer today. I have completed over 2500 words of my novel for NaNoWriMo, on my way to finishing 50,000 words by November 30. Now I only have to do that twenty more times. Well, that makes it sound kinda hard.
Anyway, I wonder about this line in the poem. I believe, as Julia Cameron states in her book _The Right to Write_, that everyone, indeed, does have the right to write. If you write you are a writer. But--what about expecations of professionalism? Do we need to make a distinction between writing as a hobby, writing as a profession, and writing as an aspiring professional? How much does earning a publishing credit or paycheck add to one's credibilty as a writer?
I think these things matter most to people we don't know--or who don't know us. My father was sorely disappointed when I studied music in college--voice and piano. He couldn't believe I didn't want to follow in his engineering footsteps, and he frequently referred to my classes as "bunny courses." I knew he wouldn't last a week in music theory, but whatever.
I was not a musician in his eyes. I had been training in classical piano since I was eight, and voice since I was ten. But, to him, I was not a musician. I had no "professional"credits. Only when I started to accompany and sing at weddings did that shift a little. A little.
My husband says I am a writer. So far, I have published only one short story, won an honorable mention in a small contest, and I recently sent off five poems to a poetry contest. Am I a writer? He thinks so. Because he has been watching me write for years. He knows its priority in my life. (He thinks I'm a musician, too.)