“You have every right to call yourself a writer”

“You have every right to call yourself a writer”

Owning the label ‘writer’

Eva has taken to spending her mornings writing in a café on the Place du Tertre. She was self-conscious about it at first: it seems ostentatious, somehow, to sit with her notebook and pen in a café where so many great writers had almost certainly sat drinking pastis half a century before. She could almost picture Ernest Hemmingway tapping her on the shoulder, shaking his head, saying, ‘Think you can write one sentence, do you, madame? Would you even know what one looked like if it bit you on the leg?’ But when she confessed as much to Ted, he’d laughed out loud. ‘Eva, darling, why can’t you get your head round the fact that you have every right to call yourself a writer, too?’

— Laura Barnett, The Versions of Us

I’ve drawn untold inspiration from Laura Barnett’s The Versions of Us. It is a delightful and evocative novel. The section quoted above resonated deeply, if only because I’ve long struggled with the notion of whether or not I am a writer.

I think in my mind, ‘proper writers’ are those who have a book published or who are employed to write for a newspaper or magazine.

And yet I feel like a writer. I have insatiable need to write. I love using words as a means to communicate and express ideas, thoughts, and emotions. I relish the challenge of forging a sentence and making it sing.

I have for years now published the words I write via the medium of blogging. Thousands of people, cumulatively, have read my words. And even enjoyed them. Or been inspired.

So, belatedly, regardless of whether anyone else agrees with me or not, I am claiming the label ‘writer.’

Because I am one.

If you can only have happiness or contentment, choose contentment

Our changing attitude to taking in refugees is a devastating indictment on the loss of our humanity