The difference

I've hesitated to tell people what I do for the past few years. I mean, really...I'm probably wearing yoga pants, a stained T-shirt, and look every bit the SAHM who gets to lounge at home all day while The Husband busts his ass at work. And while "lounging" might not exactly describe the hell-crazy juggling of laundry, dishes, bathing dogs, chasing a toddler, trying to get said toddler to nap or eat her vegetables, getting to the grocery store, cooking dinner, working out, working on one of my two novels in progress, and researching how to go about getting my two children's book manuscripts published, that isn't really the point now, is it?

Or maybe it is. I've lost myself in my own tangent.

So what was I talking about again? Right...what do I do?

Well, I used to be a journalist. Straight outta college, I landed a nice little job as a City Editor at a community weekly in Royal Oak, Mi. I had no idea what a property tax was at the time, and couldn't differentiate a millage from the mileage on my car, but I wasn't turning down an invitation to dive into the deep end and learn to swim before the ink was even dry on my college diploma.

I bounced around, like most reporters do, in the hopes of moving up and moving on. And although I told a damned good story, I never had enough left in me when I got home to tell my own.

Fast forward and welcome to the present.

I have business cards that say I'm a freelancer. I have hundreds of bylines that prove I haven't always changed diapers and asked "Do we have to make pee pee in the potty?" 687,000 times a day.

I can tell you what I did. No problem.

But what do I do?

I have no income. I haven't published a freelance article in months. And I'm busy chasing a dream that moves about as fast as my daughter. It's hard to keep up.

And yet (and no disrespect meant!) I am not just a SAHM. I'm working on two novels while The Toddler and Husband sleep. I'm trying to figure out marketing and branding and platforms and query letters and debating between applying for spot in next year's Master's of Fine Arts program or trying for another baby. I'm trying to figure out if the only difference between the term "writer" and "author" is the fact that the second one managed to catch their dream and sit on it long enough to make it their own while the first is still so stuck on their creative genius that it's blocked them from getting any further.

Oh wait. That's just me.

But does trying make me a writer, in an of itself? Does saying I'm a writer make it so? Even when there are no agents? No contracts? No proof in the proverbial pudding?

I say sure. Why the hell not?

I'm a writer. I'm a mother. And I'm learning as I go.