are you a writer?
last weekend there was a discussion in the newspaper (trouw) about what it means to say you are a writer.
jeroen brouwers who is a big name in dutch literature says you have to have three published books before you can call yourself a writer but i am more inclined to the view of lauren berlant, who when i met her for the first time asked me : and you, are you a writer too? and i said : well i write, yes, but am i a writer? i don't know. lauren explained that for her when she started calling herself a writer it enabled her to take her writing practice seriously and this was immensely valuable. so from that moment i called my-so-called-self a writer and she was so right. what matters is whether you take your writing seriously, whether you consider it a practice. within a year or two i had finished my book and it was published and i became a writer with a published book.
clearly it is important for me to finish this damned second book that i have been working on for six years and which keeps shifting and changing right before my very eyes but it has no relation to whether i think of my-so-called-self a writer.