By Leslie Lindsay
Back in the day, I used to identify myself as a “college student,” then a “nursing student,” finally I was “a nurse.” A few life changes later and I was a wife and mother (gosh, those two words never cease to sound “grown-up”). And now, well it’s taken awhile but now I think I can officially call myself a “writer,” maybe even “author.”
Let me explain: to be a “writer” simply means, one who writes. Hum. If we are going with this sort of loose definition, then I suppose we are all writers. We write emails, Facebook messages/statuses, grocery lists; you name, we write it! But when someone asks what you do for a living, you probably don’t answer, “Oh, I’m a writer,” unless of course you are indeed writing for pay.
Once I got the contract to write a parenting book, I still hemmed and hawed about whether I was a writer, or not. Sure, I wrote. For hours, it seemed. Sure, I revised and edited, and looked for primary sources. Sure, I interviewed folks and incorporated their comments into my manunscript. But was I getting paid?! Heck, no! At least not yet. (In fact, I was paying Caribou Coffee $5-6 a pop to sit in their cozy retreat and hammer out some sentences). But the thing is, I knew I had a contract with a reputatable publisher; which means I will get paid. Someday. When the book is finished and sells. I am a writer.
So just today at preschool drop off, a precocious little girl named Ruby–and wearing sparkly shoes in the same vein of her namesake–approached me and said, “I know what you are!” (Yikes).
I nodded and smiled and replied, “Oh, you do?”
“Yeah. You are an author.”
I didn’t answer her back. I just nodded and signed my own daughter into preschool. Her mother stopped me in the hallway and said, “My daughter tells me you are an author. What do you write?” Um…really? An author. Me? Couldn’t be!
Well, I sure as heck am not an R.N. anymore. (Unless you count applying neosporin and bandaids to tiny knees). And I am no longer a college student. (Though I will likely be a “student of life” forever). And well, I am always going to be a mother and wife…so, I guess I just may be an author, too.
A writer is one who writes. An author is one who writes and gets published in the form of a book. I guess that describes me.
Look for Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech March 2012.