I’ve only truly felt like a writer a couple of times.
I guess a lot of that has to do with the fact I’m not really a proper writer…
The first incident that made me feel like a writer was the launch party of Kerb Magazine in London. Kerb is by no means a big name magazine, but last year its first print issue featured an article on the US election that I wrote.
The launch of the magazine was held at The Green Carnation in Soho. Before it started I went to the park with two of my friends, and we drank a few cans of warm Stella Artois. I was wearing a cord jacket, white Converse and a patterned shirt because the ensemble made me feel like Hunter S. Thompson.
We went to the venue, paid £6 for a gassy lager and then went to a rock and roll bar around the corner to drink £2 bottles of Heineken. We went back to the party a few times, but it was full of horrifically hip people and borderline transvestites.
I left early.
On the walk to the station I was the subject of much attention from a group of young Japanese tourists.
They were pointing at me.
The were holding copies of Kerb, opened to my article… I’d been recognized on the streets of old London town!
Being asked to write for TNB made me feel more like a writer. I suppose a proper writer is someone who gets paid to write, but I’m very much of the opinion that having people actually read what you’ve written is far more of a reward than simple cash.
On the days I was working on Cactus City Blues, I felt like a writer; there was just something magic— perhaps even romantic— about being sat at a desk with nothing more than a laptop, reams of notes and empty coffee cups for company.
I guess the day in early January when I finally finished writing the damn thing made me feel like I could legitimately call myself a writer— I mean surely writing a novel, however bad, qualifies you?
I knew I was at least heading in the right direction when, as soon as I finished CCB, I became filled with desire to write another novel— that is to say, I knew that writing novels was what I wanted to do with my life.
I felt like a writer when I started writing that second novel, even if it is called Jesus Christ and The Mongoose Keepers of Mars: a journey through time, space, and the slightly apocalyptic seaside towns of Britain.
But you know what really made me feel like a writer?
It has nothing to do with anything I’ve ever written.
I’ve never felt like more of a writer than when I’ve been out socialising with my friends.
All my friends are on the same Creative Writing course that I’m on, which means we’re all aspiring writers.
There is something about ignoring impending poverty to go and get rat-arsed in a bar with a bunch of other writers…literary enthusiasts…arty types…
At the very least it fulfills a sort of drunken writer fantasy…
I don’t really know how to describe it…maybe it’s an air of possibility…perhaps it’s an air of inevitability…I don’t know…
All I really know is that somehow I tend to feel more like a writer with a mojito in my hand than with a pen…