When we say we want to be “writers” when we grow up, we imagine ourselves as a slightly shorter version of Carrie Bradshaw.
Or, at least, I do. I mean, the woman had an insane shoe collection and lived in my favorite city in the entire world. What’s not to emulate?
If not Carrie Bradshaw, then maybe we imagine ourselves traveling to far off places in order to get “the scoop” on something terribly exciting that some very respectable magazine is paying us to write about. Or we’re hunched over our antique writing desk a la Stephen King, penning the next great American novel, which will be the much anticipated follow up to our last great American bestseller.
We are glamorous or distinguished and we sound very cool when people ask what we do and we say, with as much as aloofness as we can muster, “oh, I’m a writer”. We probably make that casual hand wave when we say it so that we can emphasize that, you know, it’s not a big deal or anything.
Hi. My name is Britt, and last month I made enough money to be conservatively considered a living by writing.
I’m a writer.
I wrote over 6,000 words in the month of November about celebrity parents.
I wrote another 20,000 words or so about weight loss for a content marketing agency that hires freelance writers. My name will never be attached to a single one of those words outside of the company’s administration panel. I wrote 10 posts for the blog of that content marketing company, discussing things like SEO writing and keywords.
I wrote four articles about balancing parenting and working at Work It Mom.
I can, officially, claim to be a “” without anyone rolling their eyes. I have the pay stubs to prove it.
What I do not have are new shoes. Or an antique writing desk. Or the ability to quit that other oh yes I have a fulltime job still gig.
I have an unhealthy knowledge of hiatial hernias and Kate Hudson’s love life. I have thesaurus.com bookmarked on my computer and an inbox with 58 unread and unspam messages. I have half my Christmas shopping done and not a single gift wrapped or even removed from the shipping box in which it arrived at my house.
I spend my days and a good portion of my nights moving between my couch, my desk, my patio table and my bed as I shuttle my laptop, wireless mouse and can of Diet Coke from one “writing area” to another.
I’d be lying if I said I shower every single day.
The past six weeks have been neither glamorous or distinguished as I work to keep up with new deadlines while maintaining old responsibilities.
But I am, in fact, a writer.
You won’t find my work on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. I won’t be doing any book signings or readings in your city any time soon. I won’t even read most of what I write to my husband, because I highly doubt he’s interested in how to test the pH of his early morning urine.
But I don’t care.
There is a comma in the amount of money that people payed me for my words last month. A comma. I strung together letters and words and sentences and someone gave me a freaking comma.
And it’s neither glamorous nor distinguished, but it’s fantastic.