'A few months ago, one of my editors emailed me asking if I'd be interested in attending a local writers' conference and serving on a panel session with other freelance writers. This coming weekend is that conference.
Sure, thoughts like "I wonder if I'm the 19th person she's emailed to see if they'd be interested?" ran through my head, but ultimately I decided that even if 18 other people turned it down, I'm the one who didn't. Showing up counts for a lot in my opinion. (And I'm hoping not to be struck down by the viral funk that is coursing through my family.)
I keep flitting between thinking I am qualified to be on this panel and thinking I am completely unqualified to sit on the dais (or whatever I'll be sitting on).
I've been actually earning money for my writing for 6 years, so I think I can say I'm a "professional writer." Whether that money is enough in total to pay one month's mortgage is neither here nor there, I reckon. The point is that someone thinks my writing is good enough to pay me for it. I guess I'm qualified.
In the email reminders I keep getting about the conference, the freelancers have been told to bring some of their books to sell to attendees. This is the part where I say I feel completely unqualified. I haven't written books. I do the little ads on this blog, which have rendered me a total of zero dollars and zero cents. I have been published but not that published.
On the rare occasions when friends have said, "You should write a book," my response is that I have nothing that would fill up a book, which isn't me gunning for praise. I have no motivation to write a book because I have nothing I want to say in a book.
Also, even if I did have the desire to write a book, I haven't the time. I would have to let other things go, like the freelancing for the magazines or the teaching at the cottage school, and I enjoy doing those things. I would feel like I have a real, full-time job, and I don't want a real, full-time job.
This blog is a meandering stroll that dabs into family events and mood disorder challenges and parenting perils. I'm not sure I could come up with a succinct thesis statement that would sum up what this blog is (assuming if I ever wrote a book I would use this blog as a jumping off point).
This blog is mostly a place where I can fulfill that need to write that I think all writers have. There isn't a take it or leave it (even if you love it) to writing if you are a writer. There is an imperative to write, even if that writing isn't something for which you are paid, even if you never write a book from it, even if you never show anyone anything you've ever written. You may go for days or weeks without writing, without having that urge, but when it comes, you have to heed it. You feel overwhelmed with the need to "get these thoughts out and down" onto paper or screen so you can see them in the clearest light, away from anything else in your head that clouds them.
Writing is this