Kori Rodley-Irons Asks What’s in a Name?
Kori and I worked together years ago when we were both blogging for an online community. It wasn’t great work and the pay wasn’t great, but we were getting paid to write and that was important. I’ll let Kori explain why.
I call myself a writer. When people ask me what I do, I always say that I am a writer. Now, I do have other jobs, interests, passions and distractions—but about a decade ago, I learned that until I actually thought of myself as a writer, I was not ever going to be one.
I can inhabit MANY labels—I’ve been a single mom, a partner, a volunteer, a nonprofit board member, a business owner, the director of a nonprofit organization, an employee—you can see where I am going with this, right? BUT, at the core of what I do and whom I am when it comes to “my profession”—I am a writer.
I do not think there are cut and dried parameters for what it means to be a writer—I do not think that a person has to publish a book, or so many poems or even get by-lines in a print publication or online site. On the flip side, I do not think that a person just gets to call herself a writer without tending to the work, trying to create and putting regular energy into actually writing!
I make income writing, more than I ever dreamt I would twenty years ago, but still not enough to exclusively live on. I still do other work; work that I enjoy. I am able to separate for my own purposes the writing work I do for money and the writing work I do for the sake of art and creativity. It doesn’t matter to me if I ever make a dime off the “real” writing that I simply do because I AM a writer, but it does seem to matter to me that at least some of my “for pay” work be from my writing efforts.
Being a working writer helps to alleviate any ideals around how glamorous it is—it is work. It might be fun, it might be work that a person is well suited to, but it involves sitting down, scheduling time, and putting words to paper (or screen.) It takes dedication and commitment and brainpower and as far as I am concerned, anyone who is DOING that work, IS a writer, regardless of what he or she is writing or how many readers find their way to the writer’s creations.
Find Kori online at http://kori-renascentrelish.blogspot.com/