“What do you do?” he asked aggressively.
“I was a sales associate at Kohl’s.” I answered honestly, “but now, due to a chronic back condition, I’m unemployed.”
“Oh. I thought (fill-in-the-blank-acquaintance) said that you were a writer.” He chuckled nervously, clearly perplexed.
“I am a writer,” I insisted. “You asked what I do, not who I am. I did not chose to write, merely what to write; the words come of their own accord. I am as much a writer as I am Black and female; writing is a part of me.”
“Um….ok…” He drifted off, clearly unsettled by my seemingly insane response.
I knew that I must have sounded like I was on low-grade pot, but this is the truth. When I am published by a major house, when I earn enough with my writing to live off of, I will tell people that I am a novelist; that will be my job title. Until then, I am whatever freelance or part-time work I am doing. And I am a writer. I am always a writer.