Upon returning home to my apartment last night, parched and weary from a long bachelorette weekend, I discovered a letter from Poets & Writers magazine. I was inexplicably excited for a moment thinking that I had somehow blacked out and submitted something for consideration that they were writing to inform me had been accepted (I hadn't). Instead I opened it to find that they were offering me a subscription at a special discounted rate for professional writers. The letter talked about how I was part of an elite community of writers that was receiving this special offer and it was so charmingly earnest that I'm almost wanted to take them up on it. After all, isn't that what we really want as writers, to be accepted? Even more than fame and fortune (ha), we want to be told that we're part of the club, that we're the real thing.
I think I applied to grad school in part because when my publication dreams slipped through my fingers with my first novel, I felt desperate for validation, for someone to tell that I had what it took to be a novelist. But the truth is being a 'real' writer doesn't come with an MFA or even publication, it's a pact you make over and again with yourself, reinforced every time you sit down at your laptop to work. I still might start reading Poets & Writers though.
What makes you feel like the real deal?