Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm a Writer

A teenage boy knocked on my door a few weeks ago and spilled into a spiel about how he wasn't selling anything (first sign that he was) but if I listened, he could gather points. Mmmm.Hmmmm. Points. Right. He began by asking, "What sort of work do you do?" If it was an answer he hadn't received before, he immediately chalked up 500 points. I told him I write books for kids.

Great! He hadn't heard that one yet. He saw that I was a mom as my kids roamed behind me through the open front door and a neighborhood boy ambled up the walk, greeted me, and entered the house. The point-gatherer-but-seller-of-nothing proceeded with questions about my being published to which I said, "I'm working towards that." His face deadpanned. "Oh. You're a housewife. Well, I can still get points for that."

I should have slammed the door. But I was kinda interested in knowing what he was not selling and allowed him to continue. Turns out what he wasn't selling was: "You have the opportunity to provide literacy to kids all over the U.S. by placing high quality kids magazines in places like free clinic waiting rooms."

A good cause? Absolutely. And he probably thought he had a for-sure sale when I told him I wrote for kids. But young man - who still wasn't selling anything - you can't insult a writer to her core and expect her to support you. Not that being a mom and housewife isn't a worthy profession; I've been one for eleven years. BUT I TOLD HIM I WAS A WRITER.

He was also working on speaking skills by raising these 'points' which would help fund his college venture this fall when he plans to major in - get this - Communication. He has progress to make. As for me, although I am a mom, I'm also a writer.

Interesting discussion. When ARE you considered a writer?


  1. Barbara, I remember the same thing happening to me only without the dignified ending. I was both the housewife AND the dispatcher of hard cash. If I was there I'd like to think I'd be supportive but in truth I'd probably slink to a safe distance and laugh at (I mean WITH) you :) LOL

  2. I think I've had people from these sales groups come to the door before too. But now I live so far out I rarely, thank dog, get these.

    You are a writer if you write! Simple enough. :-)

  3. I know as aspiring authors (not writers) we have to strive to think that we are writers because we write. Which is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. However a writer is "truly" considered as one in the eyes of the public when he or she has a book published. I know it is sad and I admire how you handled that young man. :)

  4. Tracey, hhaaaa! Thanks for the laugh. =)

    Susan, that's what I think too. I write, therefore, I'm a writer.

    Akoss, true about the public eyes, I think. That's where the term author and writer differ for me. Authors are published (and also claim the title of writers) and writers write.

    I had jury duty today and was in a group for questioning during jury selection. Everyone was asked their job. I said, "I'm a writer."

  5. Oh, good grief. I would not have been so nice.


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