At what point do you start thinking of yourself as a writer?
If it hinges on being published than I should have started when I was nine and had my first piece published in a tiny local paper…oh the joy, the pride! Shame I can’t even remember what it was I actually wrote.
There have been a lot of words since those halcyon days, but not so many of them fiction, and perhaps that’s my stumbling block, this idea that I can’t call myself a writer unless I made it up myself.
But I know this isn’t really true, not when I consider all the creative nonfiction I’ve read, the personal narratives that contain such gorgeous imagery and which make me want to savour every word.
The creative part, I realise, is just as much in the putting of words and phrases together as in the subject matter. It’s in the care that is taken to fit this with that, to create an image that lingers in the mind or a sentence that trips beautifully off the tongue so that you want to say it out loud over and over again.
It’s in the bringing to life of something that, real or not, is suddenly, there on the page, more real than it ever was before.