It’s a well-known quote by Billy Crystal’s character Larry Donner in the movie Throw Momma From The Train (which is coming up on its 30th anniversary, by the way – oy, I’m old), but is it true? I’m not sure I completely agree with it. I like to think of myself as a writer, and I describe myself as such in my bio, but there have been times in my life (long stretches of time, actually) when I wasn’t writing anything at all. I can remember always enjoying writing, even when I was a kid, but I’m also comfortable not writing. So without that burning compulsion to write constantly, can I still claim the mantle of writer? I hope so.
But let me be clear, this is not my first rodeo. I’ve been blogging for 20 years now (since before it was called blogging, actually) and currently maintain four blogs, including this one. True, this is my first novel, but long-form writing is not where I gravitate. I think my preference and my skills naturally lie in writing essays, and I’ve got hundreds of those.
The truth is if I didn’t have to work, or most of the other things that take up my time during the day, I probably would spend a lot more time writing (and reading, for that matter – you should see the stack of books on my nightstand). So maybe someday, after I get this book done, I’ll find the time to write another one. And then I won’t feel so guilty calling myself a writer.