If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there to hear it, are you a writer if no one sees your stuff?

At what point can you call yourself a writer? Sure, my grandmother wrote in her journal every day for forty years, but does that make her a writer? If you’re a struggling actor who works in a restaurant, are you really an actor, or are you, in reality, a waiter who is trying to be an actor? Just because you take acting class and have head shots, doesn’t make you an actor, right? My husband asked me to trim his beard later today, but that doesn’t make me a barber.

But my fairly good arguments don’t stop me from telling people I’m a writer when they ask what I do. Unfortunately, I always have that itchy feeling in the back of my stomach when I say it to them, knowing that I am only a couple of Hollywood theater productions and a literary manager ahead of being my grandmother.

I tell people I’m a writer for two good reasons:

  1. It’s what I work at on an almost-daily basis, in the plans of making it a money-making career, so just telling people that I help my husband with our video and photography business would feel like a half-truth.
  2. If I tell them I’m writer, maybe it’ll put some good juju out into the universe. If you believe it, it will come.

Yesterday, I put my play I’m trying to extend into a full-length to the real structure test. I went over it to see if it followed the basic story structure of:

  • Inciting action
  • Rising action
  • Turning point
  • Falling action
  • Climax
  • Resolution
5 act structure

In looking at it further, I was able to see some places where it needed more fleshing out (by the way, “fleshing out” is probably one of my least favorite sayings ever) and I’ve already put 2 more pages on it. Considering I want each of the two acts to be about 45 minutes, I need a total of 10 additional pages.

Today’s goal: continue with what I was doing yesterday and write 2 more pages.