At what point can you refer to yourself as a writer? For me it is when you write because you want to, because you need to, because the urge to do so can’t be contained any longer. Competition success, having an agent, being published, none of these matter. If you write then you are by definition a writer. Not necessarily a good writer, probably not a famous one, almost certainly not a wealthy one, but a writer all the same.
I don’t think of myself as a poet although I have had a few frivolous pieces published in magazines. Slightly more serious efforts have appeared in Mslexia’s subscribers’ only newsletter and in an anthology in support of the Koestler Trust charity.
Mslexia once called me a poet when they used four lines of my doggerel in their magazine. Success indeed – although they didn’t pay me for that one!
I ought to write more poetry, if only for my own benefit. Emotionally they can be cathartic and healing, and even a bit of fun. And, if any are worthy, maybe I could submit them to competitions or magazines.
April is a good month to start by signing up to the NaPoWriMo Challenge
I never think of poetry as a money-spinner – in total I’ve earned only £140 and a tea caddy for my humble offerings. However (and with thanks to Patsy Collins for the lead) a recent poetry competition offering a top prize of £2,000 may force me to rethink the financial benefits.
But then, writing is its own reward. Isn’t it?