I've always wanted to write, but I remember the exact moment I wanted to be a writer: my first viewing of the 1984 hit romantic comedy, Romancing The Stone (which Lisa mentioned yesterday!)
It's main character, brilliantly played by Kathleen Turner, is Joan Wilder - a romance novelist who is introduced as a lonely cat-owning, Manhattan-dwelling writer.
As a child, I didn't realize this image of the lone writer was a bad thing. That it was something the character was supposed to overcome on a journey with a good looking, adventurous con-man so she could actually live life.
To me that image - typing away with a cuddly cat in a Manhattan apartment and coming up with lines like, "That was the end of Grogan... the man who killed my father, raped and murdered my sister, burned my ranch, shot my dog, and stole my Bible!" - seemed more like the ride-off-into-the-sunset than the actual ride-off-into-the-sunset.
To some degree, I haven't shaken that image.
I write. I write almost every day. I query. I network. I social network. I write some more.
But I have never considered myself "a writer" because I still don't live in Manhattan with a cat and a typewriter - the kind that clickety-clacks.
But then I start thinking about all my friends who I consider writers -
- like Lynn whose days are filled with editing and cooking and caring for her family
- like Lisa who, if she was paid a penny for every time she was fussing over one of her kids would be a millionaire
- like Nicole who molds the minds of brilliant future writers
I can go through all the list of Pens and can even more onto non-Pens and none of them live alone in their Manhattan apartment with their cat.
So maybe it's time to rethink my image of a writer. Maybe a writer can be married with a house in San Francisco and a garden she obsesses over and a day job in Finance and more friends than she knows what to do with and an obsession with finding the perfect pizza...maybe, just maybe, I'm someone's image of a writer, too.